Cultural engagement at the BMW Group.
Social commitment is a major concern of the BMW Group. There is no doubt that cultural engagement is part of the BMW Group.
BMW Group, Senior Vice President Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
With over 100 projects worldwide, BMW Group cultural commitment has been an essential part of corporate communications for over 40 years now. Unrestricted freedom of creative potential is of the utmost importance, as it is equally as crucial for the field of art as it is for ground-breaking innovations within a successful business enterprise. The BMW Group places the main focus of its cultural commitment on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design.
The company is in this case active in the cultural realm with its brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce. In the context of the MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies „Ludlow 38“, MINI awards yearly scholarships for young curators together with the Goethe-Institut New York. Rolls-Royce fosters the collaboration with renown international artists through the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.
BMW Group cultural engagement.
Modern and contemporary art.
BMW Art Car Collection.
Since 1975, prominent artists from around the world have designed BMW automobiles to represent their times, all making extremely different artistic statements. The 17 exhibits created for the Art Car Collection until now include works by well-known artists such as Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, A.R. Penck, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer and Olafur Eliasson. BMW Art Cars reflect the cultural and historical development of art, design, and technology and attract interest at numerous museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Contemporary Art Centre in Warsaw and the Guggenheim Museum New York, to name just a few.
It was originally French racing driver Hervé Poulain who had the idea of allowing an artist free rein with an automobile. Poulain commissioned American artist Alexander Calder to paint his BMW racing car in the early 70's. This was the initial spark which led BMW to establish the Art Car Collection. In the early years of the project, it was mainly racing cars that were transformed into artistic objects – some even started in the famous 24-hour Le Mans race. Later, the Art Car Collection was extended to include series-produced vehicles.
The first comprehensive publication on BMW Art Cars published by Hatje Cantz in early 2014 traces the development of these “rolling sculptures” since 1975.
BMW Art Guide.
The third, extended edition of the “BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors” provides an international overview of 236 publicly accessible private collections. Concise portraits of each collection, replete with colour illustrations, take the reader to 39 different countries and through areas sometimes quite off the beaten path. In addition to collections previously inaccessible to the general public, the extended edition now also includes sculpture parks and artists’ quarters in individual cities.
Collectors, gallerists, artists, and journalists assisted with the extensive research for this new standard work, released in English and German language by the art-book publisher Hatje Cantz. There is no comparable list of international private collections – some of which are opening their doors to art lovers and connoisseurs for the first time – online or in book form.
The BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors is the first joint publication by BMW and Independent Collectors, a partnership that began in 2009.
BMW Art Journey.
The BMW Art Journey is a new global art initiative launched by BMW and Art Basel in 2015 to promote young international artists. Like a mobile studio, the BMW Art Journey award enables selected artists to take a journey of creative discovery to a destination of their choosing – to conduct research, make contacts and create new works.
All artists showing in Art Basel's new sectors “Positions” and “Discoveries” in Miami Beach and Hong Kong are eligible to apply for the BMW Art Journey, which will be awarded twice a year to one artist at each location. Two international expert juries, one for Hong Kong and one for Miami Beach, will select a shortlist of three artists per sector and invite them to submit proposals for a journey. One of them will get the chance to undertake the BMW Art Journey. The artist selected from the “Discoveries” sector of Art Basel's show in Hong Kong, held in March 2015, is Sampson Young. The artist selected from the “Positions” sector of Art Basel in Miami Beach will be announced in early 2016.
The jury members for the BMW Art Journey include Richard Armstrong (Director, Guggenheim Museum, New York), Juan Gaítan (curator based in Mexico City), Massimiliano Gioni (Artistic Director, New Museum, New York City), Gabriele Horn (Director, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Claire Hsu (Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong), Matthias Mühling (Director, Lenbachhaus, Munich), Victoria Noorthoorn (Director, Museu de Arte Moderna, Buenos Aires) and Bisi Silva (Artistic Director, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos).
The journeys can be followed in real-time through digital and social media and publications.
PARTNER: Art Basel
Art Basel hosts the world's premier art shows for modern and contemporary works in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in the participating galleries, artworks presented and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions. In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the world, each show's singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts, offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration and new contacts in the art world.
BMW Tate Live.
BMW Tate Live is a long-term partnership between BMW and Tate geared towards innovative performances, interdisciplinary art and curation of the digital space. The jointly developed format explores the diverse ways in which artists approach the topic of live performance in the 21st century. The programme offers live internet broadcasts, performances in museum galleries, seminars and workshops. BMW Tate Live aims to reach an international audience through new forms of art, addressing audiences’ changing needs, tastes and interests in art. The event series creates a new space for collaboration and a programme that encompasses performance, film, sound, installations and new ways of learning – areas where artists can take greater risks and experiment freely.
Art fairs and biennales.
BMW maintains long-term and sustainable partnerships with the most important and prestigious art fairs around the world. In doing so BMW is by no means interested in mere logo placement. We provide VIP shuttle service and, together with our partners, develop new formats that promote exchange of ideas and thoughts between art fairs and their visitors. BMW supports Art Basel in Switzerland, Miami Beach and Hong Kong, the Frieze Art Fair in London and Frieze Masters, the Frieze New York, Paris Photo – and its American derivative Paris Photo LA, the TEFAF in the Netherlands, the Gallery Weekend Berlin, the KIAF – Korea International Art Fair in Seoul, the Berlin Biennale and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. MINI is also involved with the abc – art berlin contemporary.
Preis der Nationalgalerie.
The Preis der Nationalgalerie is facilitated by the Association of Friends of the National Gallery. Made possible by civic commitment, it has established itself in recent years as the most significant national award for contemporary art. In addition, a public’s choice award has also been presented since 2005.
Since 2011, the National Gallery has also presented an award for young film artists, in collaboration with the German Film Academy. Presented every two years at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Berlin's museum for contemporary art – the award focuses
on young, significant artists of our time. Each of the two winners receives a carefully designed solo show in one of the houses of the National Gallery, including a special catalogue. International artists currently working in Germany below the age of 40 are eligible.
“The Preis der Nationalgalerie has established itself in recent years as the most significant national award for contemporary art. Even the list of artists who were nominated but did not receive the prize reads like a “who’s who” of the international art scene. We are delighted to have accompanied this development as a long-standing partner,” commented Maximilian Schöberl, Senior Vice President Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs, BMW Group.
Architecture and design.
BMW Group and architecture.
With the construction of the “Four Cylinder” BMW Group headquarters, designed by Karl Schwanzer in 1973, the company placed a deliberate emphasis on innovative, dynamic design, which was to continue later with the emergence of trend-setting buildings by Zaha Hadid in Leipzig (2005) and BMW Welt in Munich by Coop Himmelb(l)au (2007). The BMW Group’s first cultural activities also date from the period when the “Four Cylinder” was being built and the company was enjoying growing international success. The BMW Museum, also designed by Schwanzer (built in 1973) was expanded in 2008. Schwanzer had defined the interior structure of this rotunda as a continuation of the road within an enclosed space. The idea of a “road within an enclosed space as the principle of dynamic architecture” was modernised with further refinement and reinterpretation in the adjacent flat-roofed building. In 1986, the Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ) became one of the automobile industry’s most cutting-edge design centres. Construction was completed when the extension known as the “project house” was added in 2004 by Henn Architekten of Munich. Over the long term, the FIZ will be expanded as part of the “FIZ Future” project. In close cooperation with the city and local citizens, research and development capacities will be expanded by about 500,000 m2 for a gross floor area of 800,000 m2 over the long term.
The company is also raising the architectural bar at its other locations and enforcing high standards of presentation. Both the head office and Rolls-Royce plant in Goodwood were built by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.
BMW Group and design.
BMW can look back on nearly one hundred years of design by people, for people. The common goal is an optimised, coherent vehicle design process. In 2006, the independent BMW Group subsidiary, Designworks USA, opened its third globally operating design studio. Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design since March 2009, and his team, are working to implement a design philosophy for fascinating products with strong emotional appeal. Perfection and innovation in technology and design are the hallmark of all BMW Group products.
Culture at the BMW Group.
A steady flow of information about cultural activities within the company allows employees to choose from a wide range of recreational options. Since 2013, the Sport- und Kultur-Förderverein BMW Group e.V., a sports and culture booster club, has also encouraged BMW Group employees and their families and friends to get involved in cultural activities. Long-standing formats include:
The Kulturmobile is an intranet platform updated quarterly that informs employees in Munich about current BMW Group cultural activities. In addition to this event calendar, special events are also organised in conjunction with partner institutions. As part of a unique corporate initiative, international authors also present their favourite books in the "LiteraturTipp" section.
Gallery 71 was established in 1989 at BMW Plant Munich as an art and cultural forum for BMW employees to present their artistic works to their peers. Over 50 artists have presented their works to date. Works of art created by employees can be admired and purchased at private viewings and during the three-month long exhibitions.
The Dixi Drivers were founded in December 1983 as a BMW company band by clarinettist Werner Grün. The band plays straightforward Dixieland that appeals to everyone.
BMW male voice choir.
Founded in 1979, this formally-trained ensemble has proved extremely popular. The choir is well-known and well-liked, both locally and farther afield. Concert tours to affiliated choirs have brought popularity to the BMW male voice choir even outside of Germany.