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Blouin Artinfo

When Art and Automobiles Collide, “Piston Head II”

July 28, 2016

Jonas Wood, To be titled, 1993
Katherine Bernhardt, To be titled, 1994
Richard Prince, The Odyssey, 2016
The BMW i8 Futurism Edition, A unique model created by Garage Italia Customs to celebrate 50 years of BMW. 
César,, Compression Voiture Venise, 1995

Talk to a Ferrari or a Maserati car lover and they will argue passionately that these are sculptural objet d’art. But of course, artists can still bring cars to a whole new level, as the BMW Art Car project has long proved with collaborations dating back to 1975 with the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and more recently with Jeff Koons and Olafur Eliasson each creating a unique work of art.

A new exhibition in Los Angeles aims to highlight what can happen when artists take on a quintessential object of desire, status, and identity, letting their imaginations run wild.

Opening on July 30 at collector Adam Lindemann’s gallery, Venus, “Piston Head II” is a follow up to the exhibition first mounted in Miami in December 2013, and includes a compressed car by French sculptor César, bikes by the Swiss-born, Tucson-based conceptual artist Olivier Mosset, Sterling Ruby’s monumental caged-in bus (a comment on societal stagnancy), and a new car sculpture byRichard Prince, “The Odyssey.”

Also on display is Jonnas Wood, “To be titled, 1993,” a customized Volvo 240, as well as a customized Jaguar XJ by Katherine Bernhardt, with her usual bright pattern.

The Keith Haring Land Rover (1983) will also be on show, in partnership with the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Lindemann says several artists are producing new work for the exhibition, and two cars recently created by Garage Italia Customs — a creative hub founded by Fiat heir Lapo Elkann and dedicated to tailor-made customizations — will also be on view so taking inspiration from works of art will be an Alfa Romeo 4C that references “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Katsushika Hokusai (on) while a BMW i8 is decked out in a look based on Giacomo Balla’s “Street Light” (1909) displayed in New York at the Museum of Modern Art.

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