Published on November 20th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
BMW Art Cars lineage continues with two new artists, two new M6 GT3s
Since 1975 artists from the world over have been creating Art Cars on the basis of contemporary BMW automobiles. The collection was inaugurated when French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain in collaboration with the then BMW Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to design a car. The result was a BMW 3.0 CSL, which in 1975 was raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and became an instant favourite with the spectators: the BMW Art Car Collection was born. In 2010, the most recent addition to the series, a car designed by Jeff Koons, was introduced at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. BMW Art Cars are not only on display in their home town at BMW’s museum in Munich, they also travel internationally to exhibitions and museums in Asia, Europe and North America.
Following commissions by Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur Elíasson (2007) and Jeff Koons (2010), the BMW Art Car series will now be continued. On the occasion of the series’ 40th anniversary, a jury of distinguished museum directors and curators chose two internationally renowned artists to design one car each. Chinese artist Cao Fei (*1978) and American artist John Baldessari (*1931) will be the youngest and the oldest artist represented in the collection respectively. On November 19 and in the presence of the artists, Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, announced the collaboration at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in front of 150 select guests. Both artists will create a BMW M6 GT3 in the coming year. The newly-designed vehicles will then be presented in museums in 2017, while also having to prove themselves on the racetrack.
The experts who conducted the judging were Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern (London), Juan Gaitán, Director, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico City), Gabriele Horn, Director, KW Institute of Contemporary Art (Berlin), Udo Kittelmann, Director, Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dr. Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich), Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery (London), Shwetal A. Patel, Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), Beatrix Ruf, Director, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Bisi Silva, Director, The Centre for Contemporary Art (Lagos), Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Bejing) and Adam D. Weinberg, Director, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).
In 2016, the BMW M6 GT3 will spearhead the range of cars available to the BMW customer racing programme. It is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which has been modified slightly for use in motor racing. The powertrain has dry sump lubrication and generates up to 585 hp – with the whole car weighing less than 1,300 kilograms. Further technical characteristics are the transaxle drive concept, six-speed sequential racing transmission, and high-performance motorsport electronics. The aerodynamic properties of the chassis have been optimised in the BMW wind tunnel. The engineers worked meticulously to fine-tune the BMW M6 Coupé, which formed the basis for the new car and was already perfectly suited to outings on the racetrack.