14th BMW Art Car presented in India for the first time

The BMW Group India has presented the 14th BMW Art Car created by British artist David Hockney for the first time in India. His creation will be exclusively exhibited from January 31 to February 3 at the India Art Fair in New Delhi. The subject of the art piece is a BMW 850 CSi, originally created in 1995.

BMW Art Cars

BMW Art Cars or ‘Rolling Sculptures’ are design studies that demonstrate an individual synthesis of artistic expression with regards to automobile design. The BMW Art Car Collection has been continuing since 1975 (over 40 years) and has included the works of 19 international artists. The Art Cars are based on contemporary BMW automobiles of their times, all offering a wide range of artistic interpretations.

Several cars from collection are usually on display at the BMW Museum in Munich, the home of BMW Art Cars, as part of its permanent collection. The remaining cars travel the globe – to art fairs as well as exhibitions.

History behind BMW Art Cars

The BMW Art Car collection was born when French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain, together with Jochen Neerpasch, then BMW Motorsport Director, asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to design an automobile. The result was a BMW 3.0 CSL, which competed in 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975, where it quickly became the crowd’s favourite.

For more details and the complete list of BMW Art Cars, click here

About the exhibit

David Hockney’s 1995 BMW 850 CSi offers a glimpse into the dynamics of the driver’s life: the car contains this personal story and is contained by it. This is presented by putting the technology of the car on the outside and making the bodywork seem transparent, therefore not damaging the outer shell. On the bonnet is painted the big grey cylinders and huge round intake manifolds of the 380 hp 12–cylinder engine. He stretches the stylised tyre treads, painted in black on white, far beyond the wheel arches, as if viewers are looking down through the metal from above. On the driver’s side is a silhouette of a human figure, like the shadow of the driver on a canvas screen. The passenger side, roof and trunk depicts a landscape, a short stretch of grey road and lots of lush rich green of California’s trees. Behind the silhouette of the driver is a white dog in an upright position. The dog is looking over the driver’s shoulder and out of the window. The Californian sun shines a powerful yellow and orange in the background.

About the artist

David Hockney was born in Bradford, England in 1937. He studied in Bradford and at the Royal College of Art in London, graduating in 1962. In Los Angeles, since 1964, he created the artistic oeuvre associate with his name today amongst connoisseurs worldwide – images of sunshine, swimming pools, palm trees and clear blue sky. In essence, he developed his own individual style of pop art which became as popular as that of Andy Warhol.

Working in California, London, and in the course of his travels, Hockney focuses his attention on people and their environment. In the eighties, Hockney worked extensively with photography and in theatre design, two entirely different artistic challenges which fundamentally altered his approach and influence him until this day – even though he eventually returned to painting.

About BMW’s Cultural Commitment

Since its inception, BMW Group India has participated in leading cultural engagements across the country. In 2007, two BMW Art Cars embellished by world renowned artists Andy Warhol (BMW M1, 1979) and Roy Lichtenstein (BMW 320i, 1977) were presented at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, and the BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons, Sandro Chia and Cesar Manrique have been exclusively showcased at India Art Fair.

Since 2012, BMW has partnered with Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the contemporary art fair, which brings international artists to India and creates a global platform for Indian artists. In 2012-13, the BMW Guggenheim Lab came to India. Based at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the lab organised six weeks of free program with diverse audience and communities addressing the challenges and conditions of the urban city.

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