Julie Mehretu’s BMW Art Car debuts for the first time at the Pompidou Center in Paris

Julie Mehretu’s 20th BMW art car arrives in Paris

bmw presents its twentieth BMW art car project by the American painter Julie Mehretu at the Center Pompidou in Paris for the first time. On June 28, 2023, BMW announced that the American painter would create the 20th BMW Art Car at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. After that, BMW delivered its M Hybrid V8. race car to the American painter as his canvas. The thought that played on Julie Mehretu’s mind when she saw the car in the studio was what would happen if the M Hybrid V8 became a moving painting, a vehicle that, when traversing the tracks and streets, looked as if the painting will drip. in the car?

A maelstrom of images was envisioned and, as he worked with BMW designers and engineers, those layers of paints began to carpet the M Hybrid V8 race car, establishing BMW’s 20th Art Car. “I don’t think this car is something that can be displayed,” says Julie Mehretu. ‘I’m thinking of it as something that will race at Le Mans. It is a performative painting. “My BMW Art Car was created in close collaboration with engineering and motorsport teams.” says Julie Mehretu. “The BMW Art Car won’t be finished until the race is over.”

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
images courtesy of BMW | photo by Andreas Hempel © BMW AG

Racing car inspired by Julie Mehretu’s artwork in Venice.

The blue light stripes on the front shine like the 20th. bmw Art Car speeds away, bringing Julie Mehretu Artworks come to life through digitally altered photographs that form abstract images, layers of dot grids, veils of neon colors and the black marks that have long marked his signature style. The American painter transformed a 2D image into a sculpture of a racing car, drawing inspiration from the colors and shapes of her own monumental painting, ‘Everywhen’ (2021 – 2023), which can currently be seen in her Great retrospective at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. (This work of art will become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.)

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
Julie Mehretu’s 20th Art Car BMW arrives in Paris | photo by Andreas Hempel © BMW AG

BMW’s 20th artistic vehicle will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans

3D mapping helped Julie Mehretu and the BMW Art Car team make these abstract images. Once this was done, they were transferred to the contours of the BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car and, thanks to the elaborate foiling of the vehicle, the racing car can compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Indeed, BMW Motorsport drivers Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), Robin Frijns (NED) and René Rast (GER) will take part in the twentieth BMW Art Car with starting number 20 at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 15 . ‘I went to see the BMW M Hybrid V8 race at Daytona and the experience was overwhelming. “When I go out on the court now, many dreams will come true.” says Julie Mehretu.

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
BMW announced Julie Mehretu for the 20th BMW Art Car in 2023 | photo by André Josselin © BMW AG

Julie Mehretu’s BMW Art Car will also appear at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este on Lake Como on May 24, 2024, en route to Le Mans. As part of the exhibition of historic vehicles organized by the BMW Group and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, Julie Mehretu herself will present the 20th edition of the BMW Art Car Collection. During the official races of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will face high-calibre competition in the Hypercars category. The car will also compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, being the first BMW M Motorsport prototype to do so since the BMW V12 LMR, which won the classic race in 1999.

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
front view of Julie Mehretu’s 20th Art Car, ready for its debut in Paris | photo by André Josselin © BMW AG

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
rear view detail | photo by André Josselin © BMW AG

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
Intense blue light stripes in the front glow | photo by Tereza Mundilová © BMW AG

julie mehretu 20 bmw art car paris
photo by Tereza Mundilová © BMW AG