Go See: BMW Art Car installations at LACMA, Los Angeles, through February 24th, 2009

February 21st, 2009

BMW Art Car designed by Frank Stella

First commissioned by the company and racecar driver Herve Poulain in 1975 and completed by the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Alexander Calder, BMW’s art cars have toured the world and featured in exhibitions in the most renowned museums and public spaces worldwide. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art currently hosting four of the sixteen cars as an installation through February 25th, including Warhol’s Black and White Disaster, Stella’s Getty Tomb, Lichtenstein’s Cold Shoulder, and Rauschenberg’s print, Booster.

They will be on display as an installation at the BP Grand Entrance, an admission-free area, and will also feature rare, behind-the-scenes footage of Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg discussing their inspirations and influences in creating their cars, Warhol building his car, and Herve Poulain, the racer and initiator of the Art Car Project.

Poulain first approached BMW in 1975 with the idea of using his car as a canvas. A few months later, the race car driver and BMW commissioned Alexander Calder to create the first car. The most recent cars were done by David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, and Oliafur Eliasson, with a seventeenth under consideration by the German carmaker. The company uses a panel of prestigious judges culled from all over the art world to select the artists who will conceive and paint the cars.

Following their stint in Los Angeles, the Art Cars will be on display in New York at Grand Central station starting March 24th, and will continue to make pit stops through 2010.

BMW Art Cars [LACMA]
Four wheel art appreciation [W Magazine]
Art that moves [Telegraph UK]
BMWs and Beyond [ArtInfo]
LACMA Hosts Four BMW Art Cars by Warhol, Stella, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg [ArtDaily]
Snippets of footage of the artists creating and discussing the cars [MetaCafe]

BMW Art Car by Frank Stella, image via company press release

BMW Art Car by Roy Lichtenstein, from 1977. Image via Luxist.

BMW Art Car by Andy Warhol, from 1979. Image via Luxist.

BMW Art Car by Robert Rauschenberg, from 1986. Image via Luxist.

Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg’s Art Car at LACMA. Image via W Magazine.

Installation view of Andy Warhol’s BMW Art Car at LACMA. Image via W Magazine.

Installation view of Roy Lichtenstein’s BMW Art Car at LACMA. Image via W Magazine.