Bonhams will offer the 1979 BMW M1 Pro Car painted by Frank Stella on behalf of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum at the 14th annual Quail Lodge auction, to be held August 18-19, 2011 in California.
The famed BMW Art Cars series began in 1975 when artist Alexander Calder was commissioned by BMW to paint a car that was to be raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then, the impressive roster of modernist artists employed by the company works has included such illustrious names as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and David Hockney, among others.
Included in that guild of artists was Frank Stella who, in 1979, used his series “Polar Coordinates” as inspiration for the unique, one-off BMW race car offered at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2011. Special ordered by seven-time world champion IMSA racer Peter Gregg, the car was built by BMW Motorsport GmbH to BMW Pro Car Group 4 specifications and painted by Stella as a tribute to the memory of his and Gregg’s mutual friend, the great Formula 1 Grand Prix-winning driver Ronnie Peterson.
This is the only BMW car ever painted by an authorized BMW Art Car artist for a private client and, therefore, is totally unique from the 16 official Art Cars commissioned to date by BMW. In addition to being a rare and beautiful example of popular culture and automotive art, this M1 is also purpose-built for performance and is a true race car.
Given to the prestigious Guggenheim Museum in 1999, the Frank Stella BMW M1 Procar will be offered at Bonhams’ annual sale of motorcars at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California on August 18-19, 2011. Proceeds of the sale will support art acquisitions by the Guggenheim Museum.
For more information, visit www.bonhams.com/quail or phone 415-391-4000.