American Marketer


BMW paints a picture of the future with Frieze London

July 26, 2017

Raft for The Doll in Glass, 2016 by Olivia Erlanger


German automaker BMW is turning to artists for a new perspective on technological innovation and an imaginative look at the auto industry.

Contemporary art show Frieze London will showcase work from a chosen artist that represents BMW design, engineering and technology in an immersive experience. “Open Work’s” inaugural presence at the art show will be this year but will return each year for the event.

“Offering BMW’s technological knowledge and future-oriented topics as tools for an artist to create a visionary piece of art out of it is a fascinating idea,” said Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the board of management of BMW AG. “As with all our initiatives within BMW Group’s cultural engagement, artistic freedom is essential to enable groundbreaking works, which is why we are extremely happy to have Attilia Fattori Franchini on board.

“We are excited to see how her overall vision will shape this project,” he said.

Technology and art
Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, “Open Work” will debut with a new piece from an artist selected purposely for this initiative in London and Munich for the Frieze festival.

Curator Attilia Fattori Franchini has been given the task by BMW to choose the artist to create this year’s piece. She has chosen Olivia Erlanger to create the piece commissioned by BMW.

Ms. Erlanger will create multimedia artwork that best represents technology from BMW in its vehicles.

She has been instructed to create a piece that will be able to span multiple spaces for bricks-and-mortar but also be supported with a heavy digital presence. She will be looking at current and future technologies and create a piece rooted in experimentation.

BMW Lounge and Courtesy Car Service will also feature the piece of artwork from Ms. Erlanger.

The name “Open Work” is inspired by the literally essay “Opera Aperta” written by Umberto Eco. The essay touches on the notion that artwork is interpretive and is created in part by the public or by chance.

While the luxury world has always been heavily connected to the art industry, BMW is taking it one step further by including technology into the exhibit. The brand is hoping to create an innovative image while staying true to its luxurious roots with an art initiative.

BMW and art
BMW’s current work with Frieze London is not the first time the organizations have partnered. BMW is often looking to art to create a high-end image.

The automaker has recently painted a picture of its last 100 years, as part of the growing number of brands continuing to lean on art for a luxury perception.

The “Blue Coffee” exhibition, named for BMW’s iconic color and the medium of which the art was made, will be coming to the United States. BMW's exhibit opened May 19 and features paintings that represent the past 100 years of the automaker's narrative (see more).

BMW also brought music to the masses through an outdoor concert in London.

The automaker established a partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was founded six years ago in the core belief that music should be accessible to everyone. As part of the BMW LSO Open Air classics series, the automaker will present a free concert at London’s Trafalgar Square on May 21 at 6:30 pm (see more).

“This is a great development of our partnership with BMW, and of BMW’s long-standing commitment to and engagement with contemporary art,” said Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze Fairs. “I am very happy we are able to launch this new initiative together that offers a unique opportunity to an artist and I look forward to seeing Olivia Erlanger’s project at Frieze London in October.”