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BMW Art Journey artist shortlist announced during Art Basel in Miami Beach. A.K. Burns, Jamal Cyrus and Mariela Scafati are nominated.

Miami Beach. Already in its third year Art Basel and BMW continue their joint initiative to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide with the announcement of the shortlist for the next BMW Art Journey during this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach. An international expert jury announced the following shortlist of three artists showing in Positions, the sector for emerging artists, at Art Basel's show in Miami Beach.

Cultural Issues

Miami Beach. Already in its third year Art Basel and BMW continue their joint initiative to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide with the announcement of the shortlist for the next BMW Art Journey during this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach. Like a mobile studio, the BMW Art Journey can take artists almost anywhere in the world to develop new ideas and envision new creative projects. 

Today, an international expert jury announced the following shortlist of three artists showing in Positions, the sector for emerging artists, at Art Basel's show in Miami Beach.


A.K. Burns at Callicoon Fine Arts, New York


A.K. Burns, born in 1975, lives and works in Brooklyn, United States, and received her Master of Fine Arts from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in 2010. In her artistic practice, the artist views the body as a contentious domain wherein issues of gender, labor, ecology and sexuality are negotiated. At Art Basel in Miami Beach, she premiers “Weather Report”, an installation that calls forth a dystopian domestic scene, a kind of allegorical space weathered by the current political situation, vexing barriers between the interior and exterior. Recent solo exhibitions include New Museum New York, Callicoon Fine Arts, New York and Michel Rein, Paris. The artist has exhibited in recent group shows at New Museum, New York, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, and the LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.


Jamal Cyrus at Inman Gallery, Houston

Jamal Cyrus was born in 1973 in Houston, United States, where he still lives and works. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Cyrus’ work draws on the languages of collage, assemblage, and the cultural politics embedded within Black American music and culture. At this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach, Cyrus is presenting “STANDARDZENBLŪZ II”, a project whose imagery is sampled from concert posters, record covers, Jet Magazine, and the interior of a record store in Tokyo. Cyrus’ solo and group exhibitions include Inman Gallery, Houston, MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, and ICA Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Philadelphia.


Mariela Scafati at Isla Flotante, Buenos Aires

Mariela Scafati, born in 1973 in Olivos near Buenos Aires, still lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied Visual Arts at the ESAV in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. In her artistic practice, she pays attention to the relationship between activism and pictorial manifestations. At this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach show, Scafati is presenting an installation that confirms and eschews the notion of paintings as self-contained entities. Scafati’s solo exhibitions include Abate Fine Art, Santa Fe, Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Buenos Aires and Isla Flotante, Buenos Aires. She has exhibited in recent group shows at Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Bienal do São Paulo, São Paulo and Museo do Arte, São Paulo.

These three shortlisted artists are now invited to develop a proposal for their ideal journey, with the winner to be announced in early 2018.


The members of the expert jury in Miami Beach are:

Massimiliano Gioni (Artistic Director New Museum, New York City)

Gabi Ngcobo (Curator Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin)

Victoria Noorthoorn (Director Museu de Arte Moderna, Buenos Aires)

Philipp Tinari (Director Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, UCCA, Beijing)

Susanne Pfeffer (Director Museum Fridericianium, Kassel) 

“The jury was impressed with the range of works in this year’s Positions sector. The jurors took note of the artists’ accomplishments to date, keenly anticipating their proposals for the BMW Art Journey. As in the previous editions, the jury was excited by the many different ways in which the artists responded to the challenge of conceiving and realizing a project for Art Basel. The works on view reflect the full spectrum of artistic practices in the global artworld”, states the jury. 

In collaboration with the winning artist, the journey will be documented and shared with the public through publications, online and social media.  

During this year's Art Basel in Miami Beach show, BMW Art Journey winner Max Hooper Schneider is presenting his new work at the BMW Lounge, made in response to his recently completed maritime journey to explore coral reefs around the globe. Entitled 'Planetary Vitrine: The Reef as Event', his journey investigated coral reef systems from the Bikini Atoll to the Fukushima disaster “reef” in Japan, from Lake Baikal in Russia to the coast of Madagascar. 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 latest edition in the BMW Art Journey book series is also presented at the fair giving insights about Abigail Reynolds’s BMW Art Journey “The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road”. Images, texts and other documents originating from her experience are included in the book – thus completing a journey that both starts and ends with the institution of the library.       

Past winners of the BMW Art Journey include sound and performance artist Samson Young (presented by a.m. Space, Hong Kong at Art Basel's Hong Kong show in 2015), who has represented Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennale, German video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (presented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2015), British artist Abigail Reynolds (presented by Rokeby, London at Art Basel's show in Hong Kong in 2016) as well as Max Hooper Schneider (presented by High Art, Paris at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2016) and Astha Butail (represented by GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore at Art Basel´s Hong Kong show in 2017). 

BMW has supported Art Basel in Miami Beach as a long-term partner and is again providing the VIP shuttle service. BMW is also global partner of the international Art Basel shows in Basel and Hong Kong. 

Giving insights into the art world and exploring the topic “Art World 2017: Rapid Shifts, Shifting Roles”, Marc Spiegler, Global Director Art Basel, spoke in October 2017 in Munich at the lecture of “Freunde Haus der Kunst & BMW”- to watch the video, please refer to: 

In celebration of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017, BMW and Studio Drift present their cultural collaboration: the world premiere of “FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW” created by Amsterdam based artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. After sunset, 300 illuminated drones simulate a flock of birds above the ocean and beach, between 32nd and 33rd Street off Collins Avenue behind the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Weather permitting, performances take place from Thursday, December 7 to Sunday, December 10. Time and date will be shared on Instagram by Studio Drift @studio.drift and BMW @bmwgroupculture as well as on Facebook  #bmwgroupculture. The drones will be visible from a large distance. 


For further questions please contact:

Dr. Thomas Girst

BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs 

Cultural Engagement

Telephone: +49 89 382 24753, Fax: +49 89 382 24418



Dorothee Dines

Art Basel

Global Head of Media Relations

Telephone: + 41 58 206 27 06



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 $2 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. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created 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.

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The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, 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 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 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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