The BMW M1 Artcar

By Andy Warhol

The Artcar (in Le Mans)

It was Jochen Neerpasch’s idea to hand out BMW cars to famous contemporare artists for finishing. The BMW M1 was not the first car in that tradition. After Alexander Calder, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol was the fourth artist to accept that offer – this time with the BMW M1.

Andy Warhol

BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol

Unlike the other artists Warhol insisted on painting the car himself. For the three Artcars before it was Lackierermeister Maurer and BMW-Designer Wolfgang Seehaus who made the cars become reality using 1:5 models handed in by the artists. The Artcar M1 – like the ones before – was not exactly handled with care or even put directly in the museum. It was part of the Artcar concept to put the cars on the track. The BMW M1 Artcar by Andy Warhol took part in the 24h race of LeMans in 1979. After finishing in the sixth position Artcar BMW M1and with much less paint on the bonnet due to the hard race, it finally found its way into the musuem. Artcars have always been and still are unsellabe. Even with offers beyond half a million German Marks in the end of the 70s this rule was not broken. Artcars are still on the move, all of them ready to race, from exhibition to exhibition around the world.

BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol
BMW M1 Artcar - Andy Warhol

The Artcar-Collection

To mark the 35th anniversary of the Artcar collection, all 17 BMW Artcars were temporarily returned to their place of birth, the BMW Museum in Munich.

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