1986 BMW 635 CSi Art Car by Robert Rauschenberg

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(from BMW Press Release)  The BMW Art Car was conceived in 1975, the year that French auctioneer and racecar driver Herve Poulain first entered 24 Hours of Le Mans. Searching for a link between art and motorsport, Poulain asked his friend, noted artist Alexander Calder, to commission a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL that he would race. In the years that followed, this unique combination of motorsport and BMW design fascinated the famous artists of our time. Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol have all turned BMW racing cars into Art Cars.

The Rauschenberg BMW 635 CSi Art Car - the sixth addition to BMW's collection of 15 Art Cars - is the first in which the artist used photographic methods to transfer images (including images of famous, classical paintings) to the car. Rauschenberg extended his use of Art Car motifs in his six-part, 1988 "Beamer" series - presented as transparent films on enameled aluminum and using his trademark collage techniques. The paintings will be offered for sale from the artist's private collection.

The Rauschenberg car made its first appearance in 1986 at the BMW Gallery on Park Avenue in New York City, and in 1988 made its European debut in West Berlin. Since then it has been exhibited across Europe and was a centerpiece of the acclaimed 1997 Rauschenberg retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925, Rauschenberg is recognized as one of the 20th century's most influential and prolific artists. He is credited with bridging the gap between the movements of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. A pioneer of the "Transfer Drawing" process, he experimented in technologically sophisticated combinations of photographs and drawings. As such, his trademark BMW Art Car design includes trompe l'oeil images of Bronzino's 16th century painting "Portrait of Young Man" and Ingres's "Odalisque."


Chronological list of all BMW Art Cars:

Alexander Calder (USA) 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL
Frank Stella (USA) 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL
Roy Lichtenstein (USA) 1977 BMW 320i Group 5 Race Version
Andy Warhol (USA) 1979 BMW M1 Group 4 Race Version
Ernst Fuchs (Austria) 1982 BMW 635 CSi
Robert Rauschenberg (USA) 1986 BMW 635 CSi
Michael Jagamara Nelson (Australia) 1989 BMW 635 CSi
Ken Done (Australia) 1989 BMW M3 Group A Race Version
Matazo Kayama (Japan) 1990 BMW 535i
CÚsar Manrique (Spain) 1990 BMW 730i
A.R. Penck (Germany) 1991 BMW Z1
Esther Mahlangu (South Africa) 1991 BMW 525i
Sandro Chia (Italy) 1992 BMW 3 Series Racing Prototype
David Hockney (Great Britain) 1995 BMW 850CSi
Jenny Holzer (USA) 1999 BMW V12 LMR