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BMW to Showcase the Intersection of Art, Design, and Cars in new Gallery at the Petersen Automotive Museum

The BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder in the special BMW Art Car exhibition

The BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder in the special BMW Art Car exhibition


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 3, 2015

As the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles opens its doors to the public after undergoing massive renovations, BMW is proud to present its new gallery space – the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery presented by BMW of North America. The gallery will exhibit three BMW Art Cars throughout 2016, as well as a Z4 used by artist Robin Rhode in 2009 to create BMW’s famous marketing epithet, “An Expression of Joy,” demonstrating BMW’s commitment to culture and the arts. BMW will also be the official transportation provider for the museum.


The BMW Art Cars are uniquely positioned at the intersection of innovation, design, cars and art. “The BMW Art Car collection contains a diverse array of unique artistic approaches from the last 40 years,” said Thomas Girst, Head of Cultural Engagement at the BMW Group. “These ‘rolling sculptures’ represent the core of BMW Group’s global cultural initiatives, and we are pleased to showcase some of these impressive works in our new gallery space at the Petersen Automotive Museum.”

The BMW 3.0 CSL painted by Alexander Calder in 1975, the first in the now iconic series of BMW Art Cars, and the BMW 850i CSi painted by Los Angeles local David Hockney in 1995 will be on display at the museum’s opening. Alongside his BMW Art Car, the gallery will also exhibit the BMW Art Car maquette done by David Hockney. A maquette is a scale model that BMW provides the artists so they can work on their project prior to creating the full scale Art Car. These maquettes are essentially three dimensional rough sketches to help the artist understand how their designs and vision would translate onto the body of the automobile. Later in 2016, the BMW Art Car painted by Matazo Kayama in 1990 will be displayed.

The Robin Rhode BMW Z4 Roadster is not an Art Car, however, it exemplifies the company’s creativity and support of the arts. In 2009, to help launch the second generation BMW Z4 Roadster, Rhode utilized the car’s tires to apply paint to a large canvass, as he directed a driver where to steer the vehicle. The result was “An Expression of Joy.” Further information: http://www.expressionofjoy.com/#.

As the official supplier of transportation for the Petersen Automotive Museum, BMW will also provide an all-new 7 Series sedan for VIP shuttle service, in its first year of the partnership.

For more than 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural collaborations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko have co-operated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au to design important corporate buildings and factory plants.

The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.