It’s time. BMW has revealed the 20th in it’s Art Car series.  The car, designed by artist Julie Mehretu, uses the BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car prototype as the canvas for the latest addition to BMW’s Art Car collection. The new artwork was revealed tonight (May 21, 2024), #BMWArtCar20 by Julie Mehretu at Centre Pompidou.

We’ve been covering the development of Mehretu’s project since it’s announcement last year. The Fall/Winter issue of BMW Car Club Magazine: BimmerLife includes a feature article by Jackie Jouret profiling the award-winning American artist.

In November 2019, I walked into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and found myself captivated by a series of large-scale paintings that combined energetic abstraction with architectural plans and line drawings of cities and other objects. These complex, multilayered paintings constituted a mid-career retrospective of the Ethiopian-born American artist Julie Mehretu, whose work felt like an emotional archaeology of creation and destruction. Though two-dimensional, the work had a kinetic quality, embodying the sense of movement and flight that must have lingered with Mehretu since her family left Addis Ababa three years after the 1974 overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Mehretu’s art is well-suited to our chaotic times, and it was no surprise to find that she’d been chosen by a panel of museum directors and curators to create the next BMW Art Car. As panelist Stephanie Rosenthal, director of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, remarked, “Julie Mehretu is mainly known for large-scale two-dimensional works which are based on speed, space, creating and imagining space. And so now working with the BMW Art Car really will extend, I think, her experience of working with a three-dimensional object and kind of implementing her idea of space, and also probably become a form of futurist architecture exploring technology. I think she’s a brilliant pick.”

Read the full article for free on page 20 of the BimmerLife issue here.

It wasn’t until after going to the 24 Hours race in Daytona last year that the idea of how to approach the BMW Art Car really crystallised. I was thinking about Frank Stella’s grid and how this could also be a shout-out to former BMW Art Car artists. And I kept thinking of this painting in my studio that I had just finished and the model of the Art Car was in my studio and I thought maybe we can try to have the car move through this painting. –Julie Mehretu

Visit the BMW website for more details on the 20th Art Car project.

View BMW’s preview reel here.

Photos courtesy of BMW AG.




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