The partnership between the BMW Group and the Frieze New York art fair will enter its sixth consecutive year, when the fair opens its gates on Manhattan’s Randall Island from May 5 – 7, 2017. As part of this year’s activities, and in addition to providing VIP shuttle service in a fleet of BMW 7 Series vehicles, BMW will host two exclusive events in partnership with Soho House – an Art Talk on May 3rd and a Design Talk on May 6th.

Throughout Frieze week BMW will also welcome fair visitors to a dedicated BMW Lounge which will showcase the new and exclusive BMW i8 MemphisStyle, celebrating its North American premiere.  

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.

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