BMW Art Car Makes Debut at Road Atlanta – Brief Article
ATLANTA–Making her way into the world of high speed motor sports, artist Jenny Holzer presented her latest work, a BMW V12 LMR sports car, in its racing debut Sept. 30 at the Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center in Georgia.
Commissioned as the 15th and newest in the BMW Art Car Collection, Holzer’s project embraced the traditional markings, colors and graphics of race car design, emblazoning the BMW body with the phrase: “Protect Me From What I Want.”
Holzer commented: “The sound of the BMW LMR car races right through you. It’s exciting to hear as well as see the art.” According to company officials, the BMW Art Car Collection embodies this essential element of BMW’s cultural commitment, presenting art in a new and challenging context.
The BMW V12 LMR that served as the Holzer car’s prototype took victory in the 1999 running of the world-famous 24 Heures du Mans and has won numerous other campaigns including the 1999 Sebring 12 Hours competition. Following its unveiling at Le Mans, the Holzer BMW Art Car completed an honorary lap around the renowned French course, but did not take part in the race. This time around, Holzer’s was one of four BMW race cars in competition at the Atlanta Petit Le Mans.
The BMW Art Car was conceived in 1975, the year that French auctioneer and racing car driver Herve Poulain first entered Le Mans. Searching for a link between art and motor sports, he commissioned his friend, famed sculptor Alexander Calder, to complete a painting on the BMW 3.0 CSL Poulain would race. In the years that have followed, this program has attracted some influential artists, from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol to Robert Rauschenberg and David Hockney, as they transformed BMW racing sports cars into works of art. The spectrum of designated models widened in the 1980s, when the painted body work was no longer restricted to racing cars, and now encompasses all BMW production models.
The objective of BMW’s cultural communication policy is to create a dialogue linking the worlds of business and innovative art as well as different cultures with one another. Creating a stimulus, contributing to mutual understanding, promoting the exchange of culture–this is the driving force behind the events developed and promoted by BMW.
As for Holzer, she has attained worldwide recognition with her provocative text images, adapting her work to formats as technologically diverse as electronic displays on big-city pixelboards and chiseled messages on monumental benches made of stone. Her freely associative contribution to the BMW Art Car Collection, like those of the artists who preceded her, reflects BMW’s perception of the interrelated nature of the histories of art, design and technology.
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