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New Coffee Table Book Focuses on BMW Art Cars

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On: Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 1:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

New Coffee Table Book Focuses on BMW Art Cars

Many cars and concept cars could be thought of as functional art, but the BMW Art Cars are through-and-through artwork designed by some of the most famous artists of modern times. Since 1975, BMW has collaborated with 18 different artists to create the unique vehicles of its Art Car Collection. "BMW Art Cars" is the first comprehensive, US-released publication about the collection, featuring 200 pages and 148 images. 

"The collection first started when French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain, together with Jochen Neerpasch, then BMW Motorsport Director,asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to design an automobile," BMW explains. "The result was a BMW 3.0 CSL which in 1975 competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it quickly became the crowd’s favorite: the birth of the BMW Art Car Collection."

Since that original Art Car, BMW has worked with 17 different artists on its "rolling sculptures":Alexander Calder (1975), Frank Stella (1976), Roy Lichtenstein (1977), Andy Warhol (1979), Ernst Fuchs (1982), Robert Rauschenberg (1986), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989), Ken Done (1989), Matazo Kayama (1990), César Manrique (1990), A. R. Penck (1991), Esther Mahlangu (1991), Sandro Chia (1992), David Hockney (1995), Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur Eliasson (2007), Jeff Koons (2010).

"BMW Art Cars," a collaboration between the BMW Group and publisherHatje Cantz, provides an intimate tour of this interesting collection of automotive artwork. It includes an historical account of the growth of the collection, as well asinterviews that look inside the creative process andarticles by experts and art historians.And, of course, with a picture for nearly every page, there's plenty of the cars themselves.

The new bookappears to be the perfect coffee table companion for the lover of German cars, art or both. Itcomes in a "parking space" slip case and has a coverdesigned by Jeff Koons, the most recent of the Art Car creators.

The new book was presented at theArt Fair Paris Photo Los Angeles last month, where BMW also brought out the 1995850CSi Art Car by David Hockney. The book will launch on Amazon in early June for $45 (just in time for Father's Day, for those looking for interesting gift ideas).

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