The Art of BMW
Did you know that the people who love BMW also love art? It’s true. They even have a collection of “art” cars to prove it. They asked various famous artists to design the cars. Artists like Andy Warhol painted these gems and now these vehicles are on display in the BMW Museum. They even get to travel around the world in various shows. This program has been in place since 1975 when BMW commissioned 17 artists to paint and design some of their racing cars.
The first car to be designed was the 1975 3.0 CSL painted by Alexander Calder. Frank Stella designed the 3.0 CSL in 1976, and Roy Lichtenstein designed the 320ii in 1977. The next car wouldn’t be commissioned until 1979. The artist responsible for this car (BMW M1) was Andy Warhol. Ernst Fuchs would be the first artist to design a car in the 1980’s. He designed the 635C SI in 1982. The next 635C SI would be designed by R. Rauschenberg in 1986. 1989 was a special year as two cars were painted by artists. Two M3’s by Ken Done and MJ Nelson.
1990 kept the tradition of two cars being designed. The 535i by Matazo Kayama and the 730i by Cesar Manrique. The last year that two cars would be commissioned to be designed was 1991. AR Penck painted the Z1 and Esther Mahlangu designed the 525i. In 1992, Sandro Chia painted the 3 Series racecar. 1995 brought forth the funky car (BMW 850C SI) designed by David Hockney followed by the V12 LMR designed by Jenny Holzer in 1999.
The next car wouldn’t be designed until 2007. This car, the H2R was designed by Olafur Eliasson. Robin Rhode was next in line as an artist to design the BMW Z4 in 2009. The last “art” car to be designed was in 2010. This car was designed by Jeff Koons and was the very colorful M3 GT2. Who knows when the next art car will be designed in the 2000 era, and who will be the lucky artist to be selected.