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Max Hooper Schneider selected for next BMW Art Journey. Los Angeles-based artist to explore reef ecologies in the Indo-West Pacific, in Russia and East Africa.

Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present Los Angeles-based artist Max Hooper Schneider (represented by Jenny’s Los Angeles and High Art, Paris) as the next BMW Art Journey winner. The international jury selected him unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at last year’s Art Basel show in Miami Beach.

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Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present Los Angeles-based artist Max Hooper Schneider (represented by Jenny’s Los Angeles and High Art, Paris) as the next BMW Art Journey winner. The international jury selected him unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at last year’s Art Basel show in Miami Beach.

“Planetary Vitrine: The Reef as Event”
Max Hooper Schneider’s Art Journey is a maritime exploration of coral reefs around the globe. Most of the sites are situated in the Indo-West Pacific, where the majority of the planet’s corals are found; others are in Russia and East Africa. The journey, as currently envisaged, includes shorter visits to two pilgrimage sites seminal in the development of the coral imaginary in science and art: Cocos Keeling Islands, where Charles Darwin conducted fieldwork for his 1842 treatise, “The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs”; and The Bahamas, to which André Breton traveled on an imaginary voyage via readymade photographic representations of Bahamian coral in order to document nature’s surreality.

Max Hooper Schneider’s journey will investigate reef systems from the Bikini Atoll to the Fukushima disaster “reef” in Japan, from Lake Baikal in Russia to the coast of Madagascar, and produce a diverse narrative around them. Importantly, each reef system has been compromised by its contact with humans, and each one reveals a specific aspect of how this interaction has occurred, as well as how human and non-human agents have acted over time to remediate the damage. Together, the reefs tell a story of death and resilience, corruption and rebirth.

The artist’s journey will include dimensions of research and documentation as well as sculptural events. Building on his longstanding practice of creating glass and acrylic vitrines that both contain and reflect upon complex natural and man-made systems, Max Hooper Schneider plans to bury empty vitrines at sea near one or more of the visited sites. The transformation of the vitrines into new, as he terms them, ‘Trans-Habitats’, co-created by artist, reef, and other natural and human participants in the process, will be monitored by the artist periodically. Hooper Schneider’s long-term expectation is to exhume and exhibit these Trans-Habitats well after the formal conclusion of this Art Journey.

Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with the artist to document the journey and share it with a broader public through print publications, online and social media.

The international experts awarding Hooper Schneider’s proposal were Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director New Museum, New York; Gabriele Horn, Director Berlin Biennale, Berlin; Victoria Noorthoorn, Director Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Bisi Silva, Director Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos; and Philip Tinari, Director Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing.

The five-member jury, in its joint statement, lauded the exceptional depth and detail of Max Hooper Schneider’s proposal and its comprehensive approach to the BMW Art Journey:
“The proposal develops important themes in Hooper Schneider’s practice, which already impressed us deeply at Art Basel in Miami Beach. The idea of visiting coral reefs grows out of Hooper Schneider’s interests in the relationship between philosophy and nature, the personal and the political, destruction and construction and what he calls non-human and human agents. We were excited by how the project gives expression to concerns about ecological destruction in today’s world. This ambitious project amounts to a series of artistic tests, coupled with richly sourced historical research, which promises to open new dimensions in the artist’s work and lead to unpredictable results. We are curious to see the filmic material, the photographs, the texts, and subsequently, the Trans-Habitats that will emerge from Max Hooper Schneider's extraordinary Art Journey.”

In addition to Max Hooper Schneider, the shortlisted artists from the Positions sector for emerging artists at Art Basel in Miami Beach included: Maggie Lee with Real Fine Arts, New York, and Beto Shwafaty represented by Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan, Lucca.

The BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. This unique award is open to artists who are exhibiting in the Discoveries and Positions sectors in the Hong Kong and Miami Beach shows of Art Basel, respectively. Two judging panels comprised of internationally renowned experts meet first to select a shortlist of three artists from the sector, who are then invited to submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their ideas and artistic work. The jury reconvenes to choose a winner from the three proposals.

The next round of selections for the BMW Art Journey will take place during Art Basel in Hong Kong, where on March 22 the three shortlisted artists from the Discoveries sector will be announced at the BMW Lounge. The next winner of the BMW Art Journey will be presented in early summer 2017.

BMW is a global partner of Art Basel and has supported Art Basel’s three shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong for many years.

For further information about the artist and the project, please visit:

For further questions please contact:
Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49-89-382-24753;

Dorothee Dines
Art Basel
Global Head of Media Relations
Telephone: + 41 58 206 27 06


About Max Hooper Schneider
Max Hooper Schneider (born Los Angeles, CA 1982) graduated from Harvard University in 2011 with a master’s degree in landscape architecture. The foregrounding of material technologies and biological systems within this field continues to inform his artistic practice. Hooper Schneider’s work develops and explores the aesthetics of succession through the creation of worlds that materialize and dramatize nature in diverse ways with nature conceived as a process of ceaseless change and morphogenic modulation. The resultant work voids the difference between the natural and the artificial, challenges conventional systems of classification, and suggests a worldview that strives to dislocate humans from their assumed position of centrality and superiority as knowers and actors in the world. Hooper Schneider lives and works in Los Angeles.

About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. 

Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives. In 2014, Art Basel launched its Crowdfunding Initiative, in collaboration with Kickstarter. This initiative presents jury-selected art projects to potential benefactors, which include Art Basel’s vibrant audience and the Kickstarter community. The initiative has catalyzed much-needed support for outstanding non-commercial art projects worldwide and so far has helped pledge over $1.4 million to creative projects around the world. For Art Basel Cities, launched in 2016, Art Basel is working with selected partner cities to develop vibrant and content-driven programs specific to the individual city. Connecting them to the global art world through Art Basel's expertise and network, Art Basel Cities supports its partners to develop their unique cultural landscape. For further information please visit

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.

Further information: and 


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 for the financial year 2015 was approximately € 9.22 billion on revenues amounting to € 92.18 billion. As of 31 December 2015, the BMW Group had a workforce of 122,244 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   

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