Jeff Koons. (source: Koons)
Update: June 2, 2010. Paris.
At the premiere of the 17th BMW Art Car Jeff Koons unveiled and signed his car in front of 300 international VIP guests on June 1 in the Centre Pompidou, one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions for modern and contemporary art. It is the same place where Roy Lichtenstein back in 1977 first presented and signed his Art Car.
In the spirit of Calder, Stella, Lichtenstein, Warhol, BMW announced this year that the 17th Art Car created by Jeff Koons will race where the first rolling pieces of art by legendary artists raced – at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 12-13, 2010. Koons’ canvas is a BMW M3 GT2, which was homologated to compete at this year’s running of the world’s most famous endurance race.
On June 2, between 11 am to 9 pm, the public will have the chance to see the Art Car free of charge in the Forum of the Centre Pompidou. At 5.30 pm Jeff Koons will participate in a book signing at the official book store of the museum before he will talk about his work in conversation with Alain Seban, President of the Centre Pompidou, at 6 pm at the Forum of the museum.
Koons and Jim O’Donnell, President of BMW North America jointly made the announcement today at an event held at Koons’ New York City studio. "I always thought it would be an honor to work on a BMW Art Car,” said Jeff Koons. “I look forward to participate in a tradition set forth by such great artists as Calder, Lichtenstein, Stella, and Warhol."
“The entire BMW Group is looking forward to this celebration of contemporary art by Jeff Koons, one of the greatest artists of our time,” said O’Donnell in making the announcement.
Koons will join an illustrious group of artists that include Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alexander Calder – each of whom has made a unique artistic statement about the appearance and meaning of cars.
The Koons BMW Art Car will be revealed later in the year. Details of the model and preliminary design will be announced in due course.
Koons and BMW.
The germination of the idea began in 2003, when Koons expressed his desire to create a BMW Art Car. His relationship with BMW started over two decades ago when he drove a BMW while residing in Munich, home to the BMW Group headquarters. Koons is known for his heartfelt appreciation of cars. Earlier this year he was even recognized by music icon Bono of U2 as the one of the ideal artists to design a car that would make the world fall in love with automobiles again.
“We are enormously pleased about Jeff Koons’ eagerly anticipated contribution to the BMW Art Car series, celebrating its 35th anniversary,” said Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management for the BMW AG and responsible for BMW Group’s international cultural formats. “Art Cars are part of the DNA of BMW’s cultural engagement. As manifested in Koons’ latest sculptural work, what unites us is the belief that nothing is impossible. Our company and Jeff Koons are drawn to permanent innovation and cutting-edge technology.”
BMW Art Cars.
Since 1975, artists from throughout the world have turned BMW automobiles into art signifying a particular period through the Art Car program. In 2007, the latest installment was revealed with Olafur Eliasson’s “Your Mobile Expectations: BMW H2R project.” Many of these have been exhibited in renowned museums throughout the world including the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museums, and the Shanghai Art Museum. They have been displayed at the BMW Museum in Munich, between 2006 and 2010 and many went on a world tour throughout Asia, Russia, Africa, India, the United States and Mexico.
With over 100 major projects worldwide, BMW Group cultural programs have been an integral part of the company’s contributions to society for almost 40 years. Besides contemporary art, architecture and design, classical music and jazz are key components of this engagement.
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