Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BMW Art Cars

In the photo above, artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) stands in front of the BMW 3.0 CSL he painted as a part of the car company's Art Car program in 1975.

Calder was the first artist in the Art Car program; Frank Stella painted a car the next year in 1976, Roy Lichtenstein in 1977, and Andy Warhol painted a car in 1979. There have been 16 Art Cars since 1975.

The program started with Hervé Poulain, a French art auctioner who was also a racing driving. Calder was a friend, and the two worked on the car together. Poulain raced the Calder car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

BMW embraced the idea after the enthusiastic reception of Calder's car. The program is still going today, with Danish artist Olafur Eliasson working on a BMW hydrogen-powered car.

The cars designed by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella will be on display at New York City's Grand Central Terminal from March 25 to April 6 this year.

[via Luxury Culture.]

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