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BMW commissions new Art Cars

Following on from Jenny Holzer, Olafur Elíasson and Jeff Koons, Chinese artist Cao Fei, 37, and American artist John Baldessari, 84, will be the youngest and oldest artists represented in the collection respectively.

Fei and Baldessari are each due to create unique versions of the BMW M6 GT3 in the coming year, ready for presentations in museums in 2017, before appearing in action on the racetrack.

The BMW M6 GT3 spearheads the range of cars available to the BMW customer racing programme. It is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which has been modified slightly for use in motor racing. The powertrain has dry sump lubrication and generates up to 585hp - with the whole car weighing less than 1,300kg.  

BMW Board Member, Ian Robertson announced the collaboration of the two artists at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 'The 40th anniversary of the BMW Art Collection is a time to look ahead. The collection is the embodiment of the cultural commitment of the BMW Group - its vehicles stand for the combination of cutting-edge technology and inspiring art.

Cao Fei dubbed by BMW as one of the most promising and Chinese artists of her generation; expressed her excitement in joining the ranks of renowned artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and David Hockney. "I'm thrilled to be able to join the magnificent list of BMW Art Car artists. Acceleration, a concept that reminds me of my desire for speed as a runner during the Young Pioneers days, is deeply connected to the entangled contemporary relationships between velocity, energy, and the country."

John Baldessari, described as 'a great pioneer and godfather of an entire art scene in LA and beyond' told the press how he was honoured to have many of his respected peers recommend him as a BMW Art Car artist. 'Creating art that exists outside of a museum is important to me, and should be a goal for all artists. This will definitely be my fastest artwork yet.'

Since 1975 artists from the world over have been creating Art Cars on the basis of contemporary BMW automobiles. 'It is fantastic that the tradition of the BMW Art Car series will be continued with the BMW M6 GT3. Motorsport and the BMW Art Cars have always been very closely linked. Our racing cars in the special designs of well-known artists have cult status among the general public. I am convinced that the same will be true of the works by Cao Fei and John Baldessari. Naturally we want to fight for wins with the BMW M6 GT3 Art Cars. This combination of art and performance on the racetrack really is unique.' said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director.