When cars become sculptures

09 August 2018 00:00 - 02 September 2018 00:00

French customs Chief in Le Havre wrote that "in spite of undeniable esthetic qualities, Alice Cooper's 356 speedster was an automobile, not an art work" repeating 50 years later the same mistake US Officials did with Brancusi's bird that they unduly taxed as raw metal (Brancusi vs. USA). 4 years later, it was legally an artwoerk and possibly a cultural good!

Mobile 3D art : may cars become sculptures? or more generally artworks ?

After Futurism, op art, pop art and kinetic art, interactive 3D art is in the air, and artists have used cars as 3D canvas and as ingredients of installation when recalling consumerism. While the famous lawsuit Brancusi vs. USA that lasted more than a decade, saw the defeat of the US officials who failed recognize the right to use little transformation over the raw material, the French Customs temporarily denied the right of Alice Cooper to present an artrpiece in the form of a …car.

Cesar tend to answer the questions with either his merchant Jaguar he immortalized in a 2 ton compression, or with hoods, fenders and chassis of racing cars compressed as flags of the team -upon Jean Todt request, thus they were not as would write Hemmingway the flags of a permanent defeat- His last retrospective in Beaubourg Moma (spring 2018) showed many pieces in relation to automobile, with a remarkable success.

With 8 dream cars, not derived from racing, as opposed to the 4 daily drivers of 3 generations of housekeepers,

we wanted to pay a tribute to the designers of the century, and to plasticians who painted cars as well.

When looking at GT cars, forms reveal performance and, depending upon decades and upon technological constraints and innovations,

great trends of the human condition. At the same time, car constructors were often interested in contemporary art collection

from Ford to Renault back in the 70’s, from BMW to Audi after 2000.

We have selected 5 exceptional cars, 3 that have been elected most beautiful car in the world :

-Porsche 996 Carrera in 1999 -Pinky Lai the chief designer received 4 awards in a row for the convertible, the turbo, and the 4S in 2000, 2001, 2002 ;

- Ian Callum’s Aston Martin in 2004 ;

- 928 in 1979 was named car of the year by European Press,

or that were esthetically close to perfection with the unique Koenig Porsche convertible (special order of Neiman Baron, art director) or the Ferrari F612, a tribute with Hermes interior to Scaglietti and the celebrissima couple Roberto Rossellini/Ingrid Bergman (colr of the car supposedly the same as Ingrid’s eyes !).

With 3 artcars, we let 3 famous artists transform the exterior of a 356 speedster (Alice Cooper in reference to Janis Joplin’s Porsche -Steal that car, 2008 ; Peter Stampfli the Swiss pop artist, member of Figuration Narrative , specialist of tyre design ; François Morellet founder of the collective research on visual arts movement (GRAV).

In spite of the extraordinary diversity of sports cars from this period, we focused on highly performing motor positioning structures, sometimes rather unexpectedly performing : central, swayback and transaxles. The increase of power/weight ratio and of electronic control are striking over the period thad has lead to the 3 seconds club in 2015.

Art cars are a rather rare phenomenon over the whole history of automobile, with the exception of the hippy derived practice of self decorating -aerospraying- used cars in the US, a move that the truck owners developed since to a high degree. In Europe, 16 were made by BMW under the impulse of the pilot and auctioneer Hervé Poulain, while Porsche sponsored in 2000 a painting project (1/18th scale) with 40 artists of repute and a hood competition in Latin America ten years later. Meanwhile, Fiat, Seat, Mini and Trabant were tempted by promotion using artists decorated cars, with a buzz lilmited to fashion industry, presumably.

Here 18 designers -recipients altogether of more than 25 exceptional distinctions- are presented including Donato Coco, Telaak and Dahlberg who respectively signed the Citroen ZX, C3 and the Ferrari 430, FXX, the platform Audi SeatVW, and Dropoff Renault Megan. From Erwin Komenda (Porsche 356, 911, 904) to present Jaguar (Ian Callum) and Aston Martin (Reichmann) exterior design chiefs. Interestingly all have been very close to sliding sports and arts. Sometimes, customers themselves show preferences that differ significantly between football players and singers or actors…

When cars become sculptures
Donjon de Jouy
Place du Chateau
18600 Sancoins RD41
France

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