World premiere of Julie Mehretu’s BMW Art Car – Announcements

World premiere of Julie Mehretu’s BMW Art Car

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BMW presented the 20th BMW Art Car to the public for the first time at the Center Pompidou in Paris. Designed by renowned New York-based contemporary artist Julie Mehretu, the project transforms the BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car into a performance art piece, continuing a long tradition of BMW Art Cars and competitive racing. Just weeks after its world premiere in the French capital, the latest edition of the historic BMW Art Car collection will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The whole BMW Art Car project is about invention, about imagination, about pushing the limits of what can be possible,” says Julie Mehretu. “I don’t think of this car as something you can show off. I’m thinking of it as something that will race at Le Mans. It is a performative painting. My BMW Art Car was created in close collaboration with engineering and motorsport teams. The BMW Art Car will not be finished until the race is over.” Before race day, Julie Mehretu’s BMW Art Car will make an appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este on Lake Como.

Space, movement and energy have always been central motifs in Julie Mehretu’s work. For the design of BMW’s 20th Art Car, she transformed a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional representation for the first time, thereby giving shape to dynamism. Julie Mehretu used the vocabulary of color and form from her monumental painting. every time (2021-2023) as a starting point for its design. The work is currently on display in the artist’s major retrospective at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and will later become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, to which it has been donated.

Its abstract visual form is the result of digitally altered photographs, which are layered with dot grids, neon-colored veils, and the black marks characteristic of Mehretu’s work. “In the studio, where I had the model of the BMW M Hybrid V8, I was sitting in front of the painting and I thought: What if this car seemed to pass through that painting and be affected by it?” Mehretu says. “The idea was to make a remix, a mix of the painting. I kept seeing that paint dripping inside the car. Even the kidneys of the car inhaled the paint.”

“BMW Art Cars are an essential part of our global cultural commitment,” says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “For almost 50 years we have been collaborating with artists who are as fascinated by mobility and design as they are by technology and motor sports. Julie Mehretu’s vision for a racing car is an extraordinarily important contribution to our BMW Art Cars series. Julie Mehretu has created more than just an amazing Art Car. Her ideas gave us the impetus to expand the cultural engagement of our Art Cars to promote the creativity of young artists in Africa.”

The collaboration between BMW and Julie Mehretu also includes a joint commitment to a series of Pan-African translocal media workshops, which will tour several African cities in 2025 and 2026, culminating in a major exhibition at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in City of Cape. . The goal of the project is to provide a space for artists and filmmakers to collaborate and exchange ideas.

Press contact: Christiane Pyka, BMW Group Cultural Engagement Spokesperson, T +49 89 382 40139 / =(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>Christiane.Pyka ( ​at ​)

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