2017 BMW M6 GTLM – 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari Will Race DAYTONA



The BMW Art cars are best as real-world racers.

Taking corners in a future legend has appeal today just like it did when the first BMW Art Car emerged from the Paris office around 1973.

This latest racing artwork, the 19th in the series?

A 2017 M6 GTLM, naturally.

The biggest, baddest BMW racecar ever made.  A vehicle so shouty on throttle that the artist put the letters F A S T right along both flanks.

2017 BMW M6 GTLM – 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari

World premiere of BMW Art Car by John Baldessari at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016. Art Car will race at Rolex 24 at DAYTONA.

Miami Beach. On November 30, the BMW Art Car by John Baldessari celebrated its world premiere in the presence of the artist himself, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO BMW of North America, and Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director , on occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach. Following the 40-year tradition of BMW Art Cars, Baldessari’s M6 GTLM will prove itself on the race track of Rolex 24 at DAYTONA on January 28 and 29, 2017.

Miami Beach. On November 30, the VIP Preview day of this year’s edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, the BMW Art Car by John Baldessari celebrated its world premiere. The 19th vehicle of the BMW Art Car Collection was designed by the American master of conceptual art and revealed in the presence of the artist himself, Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, and Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, at an exclusive reception at the Botanical Garden of Miami Beach. John Baldessari’s BMW M6 GTLM, a race car featuring 585 hp, will be on public display until the closing of Art Basel. Following the 40-year tradition of BMW Art Cars, John Baldessari’s “rolling sculpture” will then prove itself on the race track of Rolex 24 at DAYTONA on January 28 and 29, 2017. 

Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America: “It is an honor to add this new masterpiece by John Baldessari to the BMW Art Car Collection today. As one of the most important contemporary artists working today, John joins an incredible group from Calder and Hockney to Warhol and Koons that has contributed to this collection over the past forty years. He has used his signature aesthetic combining color, shapes and text to create a visually stunning work which will stand out at both the museum and on the racetrack in Daytona early next year.” 

BMW Art Car #19 by John Baldessari

“I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art. A challenge I did enjoy! The ideas all came at once: for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time. Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!” – John Baldessari 

For the 19th BMW Art Car, John Baldessari as the legend of an entire LA art scene drew on his famous artistic trademarks. Designing the car, this American artist turned to well-known stylistic devices and created an iconic work which unites his creative practices of the past fifty years in a unique manner. As a committed minimalist, he worked with the colours red, yellow, blue and green and with his monochrome dots, he left his familiar colourful marks on the M6 GTLM as well. Baldessari’s ironic play on the multi-dimensionality of the race car as an art object is most obvious in the graphic reflection of the car in profile. And with “FAST” as a central typographic element the artist boldly transports the power of the BMW Art Car to its outside and makes it visually accessible for the viewers both at the race track and the museum. 

John Baldessari spearheaded and oversaw the design of the 19th BMW Art Car, which was executed with the help of a team of BMW engineers in early November at the BMW Body & Paint Training Center West in Oxnard, California.

The BMW M6 GTLM on the race track

In January 2016, the BMW M6 GTLM made its debut on the Daytona International Speedway. It passed its first test with flying colours and was ranked fifth. The 19th BMW Art Car will be put to the test at this very same site and compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona from January 28 to 29, 2017. Run by BMW Team RLL, the car will be entered in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). Since 2009, the BMW Team RLL together with BMW Motorsport North America has won five titles and twelve victories. And the first season of the BMW M6 GTLM also was successful with a total of three podium finishes in Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road America. This track record is to be continued in 2017. Bill Auberlen (US), Alexander Sims (GB), Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA) will take turns in driving the BMW Art Car. 

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director, said, “It will be a great honour for us to present the 19th BMW Art Car on the race track – and especially to bring it to an event steeped in tradition such as the 24 Hours of Daytona. The design of this BMW M6 GTLM is absolutely unique. We will give our very best to ensure that this rolling work of art will not only provide a visual highlight but also be successful on the track.” 

Dimensions

Length:

4,944 mm

Width:

2,046 mm

Wheelbase:

2,910 mm

Weight:

Under 1,250 kg (without driver, depending on regulations)

 

Engine

Model:

Based on the S63 production engine and slightly modified for the specific requirements of motorsport; with M TwinPower turbo technology

Type:

V8

Capacity:

4,395 ccm

Output:

Up to 585 hp (depending on classification)

 

Chassis

– Self-supporting steel chassis – Welded safety cage in line with latest FIA standards – Carbon-fibre crash structure at front and CFRP crash     element at rear

Tank

– Capacity: up to 120 litres (depending on regulations /BoP)

Brakes

– 6-piston, fixed calliper at front – 4-piston, fixed calliper at rear

 

World premiere at Art Basel in Miami Beach

As a global partner of Art Basel, BMW Group has been presenting the legendary BMW Art Cars at the shows in Miami Beach and Hong Kong for many years. After displaying many of the “rolling sculptures”, including the works by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg in the Botanical Garden of Miami Beach, BMW continues its tradition this year and uses this major platform to present the 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari to a global audience for the very first time. 

This year’s edition marks the 15th anniversary of Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida. From December 1 to 4, 2016, more than 200 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa will present over 4,000 artists of the 20th and 21st century. As in previous years, BMW will once again provide the official VIP shuttle service for the guests of the fair. Its fleet of vehicles will provide an ideal connection between the fair and various satellite events. As part of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016, the next round of selections for the BMW Art Journey will also be held – a global initiative of Art Basel and BMW to support emerging artist worldwide. Previous winners include Samson Young, Henning Fehr & Philipp Rühr and Abigail Reynolds. 

The BMW Art Car Collection

Since 1975, a total of 17 international artists have been creating BMW Art Cars on the basis of contemporary BMW automobiles. The collection was inaugurated when French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain in collaboration with the then current BMW Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to design a car. The result was a BMW 3.0 CSL, which in 1975 was raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and became an instant favourite with the spectators: the BMW Art Car Collection was born. BMW Art Cars are not only on display in their home, BMW’s museum in Munich, they also travel internationally to exhibitions and museums in Asia, Europe and North America. 

In November 2015, BMW Group announced two artists to create the next BMW Art Cars at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In addition to American artist John Baldessari, multimedia artist Cao Fei, one of China’s most important contemporary artists who just received the CAA Artist of the Year award and had a solo show at MoMA PS1 in 2016, is currently designing another vehicle for this legendary collection. The world premiere of the 18th BMW Art Car will take place during the summer of 2017. With their works, Cao Fei and John Baldessari will be joining the ranks of renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and David Hockney. 

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.