For the sixth consecutive year, Frieze and BMW continue their long-term partnership with the art initiative BMW Open Work by Frieze. Featuring as part of the Frieze London art fair, it invites an artist to develop an ambitious project utilising BMW design and technology.

This year's collaboration was with Artist Nikita Gale and curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini. Nikita worked with BMW i7 designers to present the site-specific installation “63/22” in the BMW Lounge.

Nikita said: “This commission with BMW and Frieze has been an exciting opportunity to further my long-standing interest in the interconnectedness of sound, space, and social systems.

Now in its 19th edition, Frieze London (October 12-16, 2022) featured more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries and was led by Artistic Director, Eva Langret.


Investigating the politics of sound and its surrounding, Nikita Gale’s practice enquires themes of invisibility and audibility, recasting the complicated dynamic between performer and spectator. Nikita's interest in the history of sound continues with “63/22”, in which the artist reflects on the relationship between automotive and sound technologies. In fact, the Gibson Firebird, one of the most popular electric guitars, was designed by a car designer in 1963. 

Emerging from an intense dialogue with BMW i7 designers and engineers whilst reinforcing BMW’s commitment to art and music, Gale presented a sculptural installation comprising of five customised electric guitars. The guitars will be named historically significant and iconic Black women guitarists: Memphis Minnie, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Barbara Lynn, Big Mama Thornton, and Joan Armatrading. 

Activated in the lounge through a series of live acts performed by musicians invited by Gale, the guitars were played through the BMW i7, transforming the car into a sound amp, amplifying the relationship between the car, sound technologies and creativity.  The guitars have been created in collaboration with BMW i7 designers and realised by a UK-based luthier, Ian Malone. 


“Having the opportunity to work with the incredibly enthusiastic i7 designers at BMW alongside the endlessly talented luthier Ian Malone was a dream come true. I was truly thrilled by the team's excitement around creating these new electric guitar models as we collectively reflected on the parallel histories of music evolution and automotive design.“


 “Gale brings to the foreground a historical investigation of the relationship between technologies of sound and technologies of speed whilst transforming the BMW lounge into an experimental music venue. The project reenacts a productive and cultural exchange between two industries unraveling how these two fields have influenced one another in the past and continue to do so in the present”, said Attilia Fattori Franchini.


In celebration of their long-term collaboration, BMW partnered with Frieze to once again present Frieze Music in London. On October 12, Mercury Prize nominee Self Esteem performed at the iconic KOKO Club, followed by DJ Sam Gellaitry.