Bmw Art Car 1977: 320i by Roy Lichtenstein

Automotive Design 23 Mar 2006
Bmw Art Car 1977: 320i by Roy Lichtenstein

In 1977 Roy Lichtenstein turned a BMW 320i into a piece of his art that was driven by Poulain and Mignot at Le Mans 24-hour race and finished 9th overall and first in class.


Bmw Art Car 1977 by Roy LichtensteinWhen Lichtenstein was drafting his Art Car, he spent a long time thinking about all the things that happen to a car.

The result of this critical examination of the car is an amazing blend of aerodynamic qualities on the one hand and artistic skill on the other.

When Lichtenstein created the third BMW Art Car, he said he used “painted lines as a road, pointing the way for the car.

Bmw Art Car 1977 by Roy Lichtenstein
Bmw Art Car 1977 by Roy Lichtenstein

The design also shows the scenery as it passes by. Even the sky and sunlight are to been seen….you could list all the things a car experiences – the only difference is that this car mirrors all these things even before it takes to the road.”

Taking a closer look, the car’s design casts a picture of passing scenery in which both the car and it’s movement are one single entity.

And although Lichtenstein’s comic art was already a thing of the past by then, his Art Car is clearly influenced by it: the long-drawn colored strips act as “speedlines” – a feature used in comics to suggest speed.

Even the oversized dots used by Lichtenstein, the “Benday dots”, are reminiscent of his famous comic-strip pictures.

Roy LichtensteinThe harmony achieved between predetermined aerodynamic features and free composition is pure Lichtenstein. It is an expression of his artistic credo: art must be an element of everyday life – its themes and inspiration must come from the lives of ordinary people.

Roy Lichtenstein – The Artist

Though best known as a painter, American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein also devoted his artistic career to creating sculptural, three-dimensional objects.

This compelling new exhibition includes 100 sculptures and three-dimensional maquettes or models, the earliest of which are figural carvings and assemblages dating from the mid-1940s and 1950s, and latest of which is his last personally finished sculpture: the monumental House II, seen only at the Venice Biennale in 1997.

Back to the BMW Art Collection main page

(Source: Bmw)

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