BMW Unveils Latest Art Car Collaboration with Julie Mehretu
BMW’s Art Car story continues next year with a new chapter. Today, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, BMW unveiled its latest collaboration. Esteemed New York-based artist Julie Mehretu has been selected by an international jury of museum directors and curators to spearhead this project. With complete creative freedom, Mehretu will contribute her artistic vision to the renowned collection of “rolling sculptures” produced by BMW.
New BMW Art Car to Debut at 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans
The result of this collaboration will be the BMW M Hybrid V8 Art Car, which will make its debut at the 24 Hour race of Le Mans in June 2024. This partnership carries on a tradition spanning nearly five decades, one that has captivated not only motorsport enthusiasts but also individuals with an appreciation for design, arts, technology, and mobility. Since 1975, celebrated artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Cao Fei, and John Baldessari have contributed their talents to creating captivating racing cars for BMW.
“I’ve loved cars for most of my life, as toys, as objects, as possibilities. It is from that space that I’m really excited to be working on the next BMW Art Car more than anything,” stated Julie Mehretu. “The thrill of the speed, the 24 Hour race of Le Mans and what is possible to invent in hybrid and fully electric vehicles as future modes of play and pushing ahead into new terrains of transportation and motorsports.”
Julie Mehretu, born in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, in 1970, embarked on a journey that led her to the United States when she was seven years old. She obtained her B.A. from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree from The Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. During her artistic education, she also spent a year studying at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal.
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Mehretu’s artistic endeavors delve into the layered imprints of history, spanning from geological time to a contemporary exploration of societal phenomenology. Through her paintings, prints, and drawings, she invites viewers to engage in a dynamic visual representation of present-day experiences, offering depictions of social behavior and the psychogeography of space.
Since 1999, Mehretu has established and operated her studio in New York, fostering her creative practice. Her outstanding contributions to the art world have earned her numerous accolades, including the prestigious MacArthur Award and the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award. Notably, a comprehensive retrospective of her work has been showcased at esteemed institutions such as LACMA (Los Angeles), the High Museum (Atlanta), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) from 2019 to 2023. In recognition of her significant achievements, Julie Mehretu was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Design in 2021.
The new BMW Art Car will be unveiled in 2024 prior to BMW’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.