Creative partnerships at eye level
From London via Basel, Munich and Berlin, all the way to China and India; from promoting up-and-coming young talents via longterm partnerships with leading arts and cultural institutions, all the way to developing innovative formats with museums and opera houses around the globe – the BMW Group’s involvement in the cultural field is as diverse as it is sustainable. The main focus of its long-term commitment is set on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design.
For over 40 years, the BMW Group has initiated and been engaged in hundreds of cultural cooperations worldwide. One important pillar of this cultural commitment was established in the 1970s – the BMW Art Car Collection. The very first BMW Art Car, de- signed by Alexander Calder, instantly won over the hearts of the public when it took part in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then 17 major international artists have designed BMW models, such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jeff Koons. For almost 40 years, these “rolling sculptures” have fascinated art and design enthusiasts as well as lovers of cars and technology the world over.
Whether live performances or an exclusive art guide – when it comes to fine arts the BMW Group’s engagement is diverse, including the major events in the international art calendar: Besides the Art Basel and its two offshoots in Miami Beach and in Hong Kong, as well as the Frieze Art Fair and the Frieze Masters in London and New York, the BMW Group cooperates with the Gallery Weekend Berlin, the Berlin Biennale for Con- temporary Art and the abc – art berlin contemporary. Furthermore the BMW Group supports the TEFAF in Maastricht, the Paris Photo in Paris and Los Angeles, the Korea International Art Fair and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India.
BMW’s commitment to art further focuses on cooperations with leading museums and institutions. Together with the Tate Modern in London, BMW has introduced the innovative format “BMW Tate Live”. Since 2011 international audiences have been able to watch performance art via live streams on the internet across world time zones.
A key partnership links BMW with the Independent Collectors, the world’s first online network for collectors of contemporary art. As a joint publication from this partnership, the “BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors” offers an unique overview of 218 publically accessible private contemporary art collections.
Also on the side of classical music, BMW has fostered long-term collaborations with renowned institutions. The award-winning project “Oper für alle” was launched in 1997 in close cooperation with the Bavarian State Opera House and, according to former Mayor Christian Ude, has meanwhile become a “civil liberty of Munich” – with thousands of visitors attending each year. In 2007, the format was also launched in Berlin under the name “Staatsoper für alle” in joint collaboration with the State Opera House Unter den Linden. The international expansion of this concept has been realized since 2012 through a cooperation with the London Symphony Orchestra – the “BMW LSO Open Air Classics”, an annual live concert free of charge on Trafalgar Square. China is planned as the next stop of this format.
BMW’s promotion of music also embraces young talent. The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra’s education initiative “Spielfeld Klassik” has joined forces with BMW to pursue unusual ways of winning children and adolescents over to classical music.
Each spring, the sound of jazz can be heard from the BMW Welt in Munich. Here, a high- calibre panel of expert judges presents the
prestigious annual BMW Welt Jazz Award to international ensembles. Under a different motto each year, six ensembles perform in their own free Sunday concerts before the winners are selected by the jury in a grand finale.
In all the cultural activities the company is involved in, the BMW Group guarantees absolute creative freedom – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.