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Sam Lewitt to create BMW Open Work 2018. Artwork inspired by BMW technology to premiere at Frieze London.

London/Munich. BMW and Frieze continue their long-term partnership with the major artistic initiative BMW Open Work by Frieze. Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, the initiative brings together art, design and technology in pioneering multi-platform formats. The artist chosen to create the second BMW Open Work for Frieze London 2018 is New York-based artist Sam Lewitt.

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London/Munich. BMW and Frieze continue their long-term partnership with the major artistic initiative BMW Open Work by Frieze. Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, the initiative brings together art, design and technology in pioneering multi-platform formats. The artist chosen to create the second BMW Open Work for Frieze London 2018 is New York-based artist Sam Lewitt. 

The concept

Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, BMW Open Work invites an artist to develop a visionary project that creates an immersive experience for the viewer. Drawing inspiration from BMW design, engineering and technology, the commissioned artist considers current and future technologies as tools for innovation and artistic experimentation. Premiering at Frieze London, the artwork will have the potential to unfold across physical spaces, such as the fair’s BMW Lounge and Courtesy Car Service, as well as digital platforms. 

The initiative’s title “Open Work” is inspired by Umberto Eco’s literary essay “Opera Aperta” (1962) which proposes the idea that artworks are constituted in part by the public or by chance, and are therefore open to a wide range of interpretations. 

Franchini has selected international artist Sam Lewitt for the second installment of the BMW Open Work commission in 2018.  

Franchini said: Now in its second year, BMW Open Work offers to artists the possibility of engaging in a rich dialogue with BMW engineering and design expertise. This dialogue is a unique possibility of encounter and creation between different fields. Working with a sharp artist such as Sam Lewitt, whose project challenges conceptually and sculpturally our understanding at the core of motor corporate production, is absolutely thrilling.” 

“Commissioning new work has been at the heart of Frieze London since it began. Through this partnership with BMW, we are thrilled to be supporting ambitious, thought-provoking work and opening up conversations between art, design and technology”, said Jo Stella-Sawicka, Artistic Director, Frieze. 

Dr Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW Group, said: “We are extremely happy seeing BMW Open Work moving forward in its second year. Attilia Fattori Franchini has done an exceptional job shaping this initiative and making it another great example of BMW’s commitment to artistic freedom in creative practice. It has been very exciting to see Sam Lewitt engage with our BMW engineers and experts, and I cannot wait to see the result come to life in our BMW Lounge later in the year.”  

Lewitt is now in the process of developing his commission for BMW Open Work, which will be premiered at Frieze London in October 2018. Further details will be announced in the coming months. 

BMW has been partnering with Frieze since 2004. In 2012, they co-initiated the ‘Frieze Sounds’ program. BMW Open Work builds upon this long-term collaboration since 2017. Olivia Erlanger was selected for the inaugural commission. Her work ‘Body Electric’ offered an immersive, sensory exploration of natural phenomena and their relation to humankind’s technological achievements. 

About Frieze

Frieze is the leading platform for modern and contemporary art for scholars, connoisseurs, collectors and the general public alike. Frieze comprises three magazines—frieze magazine, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week—and three international art fairs—Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York. Additionally, Frieze organizes a program of special courses and lectures in London and abroad through Frieze Academy. 

Frieze was founded in 1991 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, with the launch of frieze magazine, the leading international magazine of contemporary art and culture. In 2003, Sharp and Slotover launched Frieze London art fair, which takes place each October in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, they launched Frieze New York, which occurs each May in Randall’s Island Park, and Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October and is dedicated to art from ancient to modern. 

About Attilia Fattori Franchini

Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based in London. She is co-founder of the not for profit platforms bubblebyte.org and Opening Times and contributes critical essays and reviews to international publications. Fattori Franchini is currently working on Curva Blu, a residency project in Favignana, Sicily; the curated_by Festival in Vienna, 2018 and will direct the next edition of the Termoli Art Prize, Italy. 

Recent projects include: Red Lake at Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia, (CY), 2018; the Emergent section of miart, 2018; ARS17+ at Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2017; Céu Torto, BFA, São Paulo, BR, 2017; Dawning, Mexico City, MX, 2017; Europa and the Bull, LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, KO, 2016; Oa4s, Temra and David in 4 parts, Sorbus, Helsinki, 2016; Yves Scherer, Snow White and The Huntsman, Mexico City, 2016; Bold Tendencies 2015, London. 

About Sam Lewitt

Sam Lewitt is an artist based in New York. Selected institutional solo exhibitions include: Swiss Institute, New York (2016), Kunsthalle Basel (2016) and The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Other Mechanisms, Secession, Vienna (2018), Crash Test, La Panacée, Montpellier (2018), the 57th Venice Biennale, Venice (2017), A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2016), Nature after Nature at Fridericianum, Kassel (2014), and Materials and Money and Crisis, MUMOK, Vienna (2013) and the Whitney Biennial (2012). 

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. 

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. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries. 

In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was € 10.655 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 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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