The Memphis Group revolutionized the world of design by being an antithesis to functionalism and any commercial logic in the 1980s. Founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass Jr., the group’s style was provocative and inspired by movements like Art Deco with its geometrical shapes and Pop Art with its bright colors and Kitsch. The BMW i8 MemphisStyle, thus, blazes in a colorful brightness with horizontal and vertical lines along with hypnotic patterns decorating the surface. Those contrasts display the pure expression of rebellion and liberation from the rigid standards of traditional design. The BMW i8 MemphisStyle was designed and produced in cooperation with Garage Italia Customs.
By questioning existing principles and designs and breaking new ground in form and function, both the Memphis Group and BMW i pursue similar approaches. On May 4 from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. BMW will also host a conversation at the opening of the BMW Lounge on Memphis Design entitled, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Memphis Design Rocks.” Carl Gustav Magnusson, industrial designer, and Dr. Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, will take a look at this unique project and the connection between creative potential and the courage and challenges of innovation. Just as Memphis has overturned all the existing principles around the idea of “living”, the artist Roy Lichtenstein revolutionized the understanding of art through his Comic and Pop Art in the 1960s, which is evident in the third BMW Art Car, which Lichtenstein designed in 1977. The original, signed BMW Art Car Maquette by Roy Lichtenstein will also be on display in the BMW Lounge.
In addition to its on-fairground activities, BMW will host two talks as part of an ongoing partnership with Soho House. On May 3rd, Deana Lawson and Dashiell Manley, two well-established and ambitious artists, will speak about the challenge of “How to Make it in the Art World”, moderated by Lynette Lee. On May 6th, the artist and innovator Daan Roosegarde, Jessica Lax of the Van Alen Institute and Dr. Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, will provide “A Journey into the Future” by giving an outlook about future landscapes and designs.
As one of the most important fairs of contemporary art worldwide, Frieze New York presents over 200 leading international galleries annually. BMW has been a partner of Frieze London since 2004, and in 2012, the partnership was extended to include Frieze New York. Apart from Frieze, for more than a decade, BMW has been an active partner of renowned international art fairs including Art Basel Hong Kong, Miami and Basel, Gallery Weekend Berlin and TEFAF Maastricht. In addition, the BMW Group is partner of internationally acclaimed museums such as Tate Modern in London, publishes the “BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors” together with Independent Collectors and focuses on promoting young art with initiatives such as the BMW Art Journey or the Preis der Nationalgalerie.
For further questions please contact:
Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
Head of Cultural Engagement
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
BMW of North America
Manager, Corporate Communications
About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. Currently, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari are creating the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.
The BMW Group
With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.