BMW Art Car collection on show in the UK | CAR Magazine

BMW Art Car collection on show in the UK

Published: 10 July 2012 Updated: 26 January 2015

An exhibition of the famous BMW Art Car collection is coming to the UK for the very first time – just in time for the Olympics.

The Art Drive! exhibition is taking over the London Great Eastern Street car park from 21 July 2012, bringing a chance to see the BMW cars transformed by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists.

What will I find at the BMW Art Car exhibition?

This display of vibrant BMWs, created over the last 35 years, is part of the London 2012 Festival – a 12-week nationwide celebration of top artists from across the world. An entire six floors of the 1960s car park in Shoreditch will stage a colourful contrast of BMW projects, created by 16 international ICA artists including Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Jenny Holzer.

Each model holds a unique artistic interpretation: David Hockney’s 1995 850CSi paints the inside of the car on the outside, revealing every internal detail from the parts in the engine, to a dog in the back. Meanwhile, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein used their BMWs as a blank canvas to portray the essence of speed through striking colours and prominent lines.

The story behind the BMW Art Cars

BMW’s own take on the four-wheeled art has its origins in the 1970s. French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain invited Alexander Calder to design a car that coupled artistic excellence to ‘an already perfect object’.

The BMW Art Car was born – spawning the fully fledged racing 3.0 CSL that went on to compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1975.

To add some colour to the London celebrations, the ICA in partnership with BMW has teamed up with the London Festival and the Mayor of London to form the Art Drive! Project Team.

Click here to read more about 2010’s BMW M3 GT2 Art Car designed by Jeff Koons and which competed at Le Mans that summer.