BMW Group India has presented the 14th BMW Art Car created by most renowned British artist David Hockney for the first time in India. His creation will be exclusively exhibited from 31 January – 3 February 2019 at the India Art Fair in New Delhi. David Hockney created the 14th Art Car for BMW in 1995 with the BMW 850 CSi.
BMW Art Cars or the ‘Rolling Sculptures’ are original masterpieces of art that demonstrate an individual synthesis of artistic expression and automobile design. Since 1975, 19 international artists have created Art Cars based on contemporary BMW automobiles of their times, all offering a wide range of artistic interpretations.
BMW Art Car Collection
For over 40 years, BMW Art Car Collection has fascinated art and design enthusiasts as well as lovers of cars and technology with its unique combination of fine art and innovative automobile technology. Several cars from BMW Art Car 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 BMW Art Cars travel the globe – to art fairs as well as exhibitions.
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. Since then, 19 international artists have designed BMW models, among them some of the most renowned artists of our time: Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975), Frank Stella (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1976), Roy Lichtenstein (BMW 320 Group 5, 1977), Andy Warhol (BMW M1 Group 4, 1979), Ernst Fuchs (BMW 635CSi, 1982), Robert Rauschenberg (BMW 635CSi, 1986), Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3 Group A, 1989), Ken Done (BMW M3 Group A, 1989), Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990), César Manrique (BMW 730i, 1990), A. R. Penck (BMW Z1, 1991), Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991), Sandro Chia (BMW M3 GTR, 1992), David Hockney (BMW 85 0CSi, 1995), Jenny Holzer (BMW V12 LMR, 1999), Ólafur Eliasson (BMW H2R, 2007), Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010), John Baldessari (BMW M6 GT3) and Cai Fei (BMW M6 GT3).
The BMW Art Car Collection is by no means complete as it stands. The number of exhibits will continue to grow, adding artistic expressions to the collection.
#14 BMW Art Car David Hockney 1995 BMW 850 CSi
David Hockney’s art car tells a story. The imagery, flat and Matisse-like, narrates the emotional connection and singular bond between the driver and the vehicle. Hockney offers us a glimpse into the dynamics of the driver’s life: the car contains this personal story and is contained by it. The X-ray view of the interior of the car presents us a view of this connection. He turns the inside out, putting the technology of the BMW 850 CSi on the outside and making the bodywork seem transparent. The idea of showing the inside without damaging the outer shell. On the bonnet he paints parts of the 380 hp 12 – cylinder engine: big grey cylinders and huge round intake manifolds. He stretches stylised tyre treads, painted in black on white, far beyond the wheel arches, as if you are looking down through the metal from above. On the driver’s side there is a silhouette of a human figure in black and white. Its like the shadow of the driver on a canvas screen. On the passenger side, roof and trunk Hockney depicts a landscape. We can see a short stretch of grey road and lots of green, the 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.
Born in Bradford, England in 1937, David Hockney came to the forefront of the international art scene in the early sixties and has been one of its most influential protagonists ever since. He studied in Bradford and at the Royal College of Art in London, graduating in 1962, and soon achieved renown as one of the major artistic contributors to the ‘Swinging Sixties.’
Hockney has lived in the United States, to be more precise Los Angeles, since 1964, creating the artistic oeuvre associate with his name today amongst connoisseurs worldwide – images of sunshine, swimming pools, palm trees and clear blue sky. 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. His portraits in particular highlight the individuality of their subjects, Hockney’s parents and Hockney’s friends. 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 Hockney has meanwhile 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. 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 innovative BMW Guggenheim Lab came to India. Based at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and conducted at six different sites in Mumbai, the lab organised six weeks of free program with diverse audience and communities addressing the challenges and conditions of the urban city.
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperation’s worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group's Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the ‘Opera for All’ concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group gives absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.