Friday, September 23, 2005

Olafur and the Hot New Beemer

From the Art Newspaper comes news that one of my favorite artists, Olafur Eliasson, has been selected to produce BMW’s 16th “art car.” Other artists who have been asked to spruce up a Beemer include Roy Lichenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauchenberg and David Hockney.

Eliasson, who's known for his environmental installations (including the highly lauded
"Weather Project" at Tate Modern in London) is expected to take a different approach from those previous artists though. They all painted their "art car," and Olafur's not particularly known for his paintings.

Eliasson will be asked to begin with the new, eco-friendly hydrogen-powered BMW H2R (see above).

From the exhibitions I've seen of Olafur's at his gallery in Chelsea (
Tanya Bonakdar) and the Danish Pavillion at the previous Venice Biennale, it's clear he's not opposed to knocking out some walls and ceilings and rearranging things, so I'll be surprised if the H2R is recognizable as such. But then again, for his mini-retrospective at Madrid's Crystal Palace (see image below), I thought the limitations posed by the venue (I doubt Spain was gonna let him move any of the glass walls, and the show felt a bit lifeless) cramped his style a bit. Each of those pieces deserved much more space.

In other words, I wonder if he'll have the license to respond to the car in the same way he does a white cube. The Art Newspaper notes that "BMW do not stipulate that the vehicle must be in working order after Eliasson has finished it" so perhaps the sky's the limit.

Can't wait to see.

Here are some images of previous BMW art cars:

Alexander Calder 1975

Andy Warhol 1979

Robert Rauschenberg 1986

Jenny Holzer 1999 (Text includes: "Protect me from what I want" and "You are so complex you don't respond to danger")


UPDATE: I didn't want to comment on the H2R itself, as my interest in this project is what Eliasson's going to do with it, not the car itself, but, as Folding Chair notes, it may not matter.... (via MAN).


Anonymous LA artist said...

When is the display at the Boston Museum scheduled?

9/23/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

When is the display at the Boston Museum scheduled?


These pieces are possibly overqualified.

9/23/2005 02:17:00 PM  

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