London’s ICA and BMW Present Art Car Exhibition

BMW in partnership with the ICA are mounting an exhibition of iconic BMW Art Cars, which will take place in a car park in historic Shoreditch 21 July to 4 August. This will be the first time the Collection has been shown in the UK. The Mayor of London and the 2012 Festival have arranged the exhibition, as part of the London 2012 Festival. The collection put together over a period of 35 years has 16 international artists represented.

The BMW Art Car Collection was launched in 1975 as a unique artistic experiment. 37 years later it is still going strong and the concept has gradually formed itself into a collection, which to this day remaines unique in its nature in the automobile world. Several of the world’s most renowned  artists including: Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg,Cesar Manrique, Jeff Koons,Keith Haring, Esher Mahlangu, James Rosenquist ,Jenny Holzer and David Hockney.

The BMW Art Cars have also sprung from the world of motor sport. The idea was sparked when the French auctioneer and racing driver Hervé Poulain, wanted to combine two worlds. He spoke to his friend Alexander Calder and persuaded him to design a toy car and a scale model. He found an ideal artist in Calder, and in Joachen Neerpasch, then head of racing sport at BMW, he found a partner open-minded about art on the side of the company. The recognizable link between art and auto racing was crucial: many of the Art Cars have since taken part in the legendary 24 hour Le Mans race – even at the risk that this can potentially end in the artwork being destroyed. Despite giving some curators sleepless nights, this allows the artworks to prove their roadworthiness and racing ability at least once.

The Collection will show cars spread over six floors in the NCP Car Park on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. The project, which brings together BMW’s excellence in car design and the ICA’s passion for and commitment to art, will be a one-off opportunity for art and design lovers as well as car enthusiasts.

Photo: BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons Gregor Muir, Executive Director ICA  3, July 2012 in London, England.

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