Fine Art on Wheels

Fine Art on Wheels

Christie Projectors Share the Spotlight in Grand Central Terminal for BMW


Christie projectors delivered reliable performance at BMW Art Car exhibit held in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. (Inset) The Christie HD10K-M was selected because of its dual-lamp system. The system is designed so that should a lamp fail, the second lamp will continue displaying the image on the screen.

Since 1975, BMW has hosted an event where 16 world-renowned artists have designed BMW Art Cars. These cars have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, including the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim museums in Bilbao and New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). And for a few weeks, the display moved out of those hallowed halls and into New York City’s venerable Grand Central Terminal.

The Grand Central Terminal exhibit was a unique free, public display that included four BMW Art Cars designed by Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, plus an additional display that featured a 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster with special paint dispensers mounted behind its wheels. This second display included a 30- x 40-foot curved section of artist Robin Rhode’s football-field sized painting that provided the landscape for the BMW Z4 Roadster and a 16- x 9-foot AV Stumpfl screen that displayed the HD video that documented the creation of the painting.

This exhibit presented a few challenges to its designers and organizers, but the most significant challenge was that the exhibit would operate from 7am to 11pm for 12 days; therefore the project would require a reliable, bright, HD projector that included features to ensure there would not be any downtime during exhibit times. The Christie HD10K-M was selected because of its dual-lamp system. The system is designed so that, if a lamp should fail, the second lamp will continue displaying the image on the screen.

Another measure taken to ensure that the show must go on was that the image was stacked — only one of the two projectors was used each day. The 9500 ANSI lumen brightness of the Christie HD10K-M was ideal for the display. It was bright enough to counter the effects of the ambient lighting in the Terminal and allowed for one projector to be available as a back-up should any failures occur. Staff was onsite to react if there was a failure, but they were also available to turn on/off and alternate the projector that was used each day. This ensured extended lamp life for each projector, but also provided peace of mind that the show would go on.

“The Christie HD10K-M was perfectly suited for this exhibit,” explains Christie partner, Ike Eckstein of Visual Word. “Its compact size, light weight, and ability to be mounted in a stacking frame made it the ideal choice.” Truss was installed to mount the projectors and lighting around the display area. The projectors were secured to the truss side-by-side — quickly and easily.

The 2009 BMW Art Cars exhibit in Grand Central Terminal offered visitors a unique opportunity to see art, culture, and technology come together. “We needed quality, reliability, and the best high def performance for this very high-profile, contemporary art exhibit,” says Steve Grober, executive producer, Wizard Studios. “All roads lead to Christie projectors and the Christie HD10K-M performed flawlessly — all day, every day.”