CARJACKED (After Piet Mondrian) 

Coll.eo, 2012

Piet Mondrian’s “Composition 10” (1939-1942) is the main inspiration behind Coll.eo’s second digital BMW Art Car. In an act of creative anachronism, the painted automobile is a 1981 M1 BMW. A collaboration between the German automaker and Italian brand Lamborghini, the M1 was manufactured between 1978 and 1981. It is the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. With its futuristic appearance and slick body - designed by Giugiaro - the M1 looks more like a jet plane than a car. BMW produced only 456 M1s, making it one of its rarest models.

Piet Mondrian’s production is historically situated in Modernism, which was characterized by an explicit opposition to ornamentation, the exploration of new materials and abstract forms, and the use of formal and aesthetic language compatible with the realities and affordances of mass production. During Modernism, technologies such as the internal combustion engine, man-made plastics, and the use of petrol as source of power became commonplace.

Mondrian developed his peculiar vision of Modernism with the De Stijl (the Style), also known as Neo-Plasticism. De Stijl (1917-1928) explores pure abstraction and simplicity: form reduced to geometric shapes, and a palette which uses only the primary colors - red, yellow and blue - along with black, gray, and white. A triumph or order and rationality that would lead mankind to spiritual harmony.

Mondrian died in 1944. The same year, BMW AG produced the axial-flow turbojet engine 003 powering the Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger ("People's Fighter"). A single-engine, jet-powered fighter aircraft fielded by the Luftwaffe in World War II, the Volksjäger was not mass produced. Less than 500 models were built by BMW and few were actually installed. Nonetheless, the engine formed the basis for turbojet development in Japan during World War II.

Image credit: Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 10, 1939-42.Oil on Cavas. 80 x 73 cm. Private collection.