ROAD RAGE CHECKLIST

23 ARTISTS LOOK AT CARS

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Jean Baudrillard

Saint Clement, 1987

Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929 - d. 2007) is mainly associated with postmodern and poststructuralist theory. His work combines both traditional and contemporary philosophy, bringing together philosophy, social theory, and an idiosyncratic cultural metaphysics that reflects on key events and phenomena of the epoch. It’s very unusual to see art made by him.

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Robert Bechtle

Covered Car, Albany California, 2010

Bechtle (b. 1932 - d. 2020) was an American Photorealist painter best known for his depictions of sunlit streets and everyday life. With a distinctive, non- narrative aesthetic, his watercolors and oils paintings documented his friends, family, and automobiles. He painted what he called portraits of the “essence of American experience”. It’s amazing to think of the sheer skill of this work being entirely charcoal drawing.

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Matt Bollinger

Between the Days, 2017

Matt Bollinger (b. 1980) works across painting, animation, sculpture and music. In the film Between the   Days, 2017 the animation is meticulously painted frame  by frame in acrylic and flashe, in which he modifies and      photographs the paintings hundreds of times. The paintings store within themselves the cycle of the passing days, hidden under layers of paint.

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Peter Cain

Untitled, 1989

Peter Cain (b. 1959- d.1997) was an artist best known for his meticulously executed paintings and drawings of        surreal and aberrant versions of automobiles. His style has been said to combine aspects of surrealism, Photorealism, and the art of James Rosenquist. 

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César

Compression Automobile, 1970

César (b. 1921- d. 1998), member of the Movement Realisme, was best known for his compacted cars and recycled metals. Though compared to the work of Pop artists like Warhol who appropriated commercial commodities, he was more interested in the formal aspects of sculpture, and may be better likened to Giacometti.

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John Chamberlain

Tomago, 1985

John Chamberlain's (b. 1927- d. 2011) distinctive metal sculptures, often made of crushed automobile steel, reveal both the stately grace and the expressive plasticity of color, weight, and balance, Chamberlain tapped into the energy of Abstract Expressionism, using the pre-manufactured elements of Pop art and Minimalism, and evoked the provocative  folds of the High Baroque and, even further, the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre.

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Liz Cohen

Trabantimino, 2008

Liz Cohen (b. 1973) is a photographer and performance artist whose decades-long career focuses largely on the intersections of immigration, industry, labor and women’s representation in popular media. Cohen is perhaps best known for her BODYWORK project, in which she simultaneously transformed a dilapidated East  German Trabant into American El Camino lowrider, while inhabiting a new identity herself as a car customizer and lowrider model. She mashes up both cars and her own identity in these different kinds of “body work”. 

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Gregory Crewdson

Back Lot, 2018-2019

Gregory Crewdson’s (b. 1962) photographs have entered the American visual lexicon, taking their place alongside  the paintings of Edward Hopper and the films of Alfred Hitchcok and David Lynch as indelible evocations of a silent psychological interzone between the everyday and the uncanny.

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Judy Dater

Self-Portrait on Deserted Road, 1982

Judy Dater (b. 1941) uses photography as an instrument for challenging traditional conceptions of the female body. Her early work paralleled the emergence of the feminist movement and her work became strongly associated with it. At a time when female frontal nudity was considered risqué, Dater pushed boundaries by taking pictures of the naked female body, and in this case her own body and its vulnerability.

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Justin Favela

Blue Dream, 2021

Favela (b. 1986) is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and known for large-scale installations and sculpture that manifest his interactions with American pop culture and the

Latinx experience. This classic low-rider car was commissioned for and built in The Church.

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Sylvie Fleury

Ford Cosworth, 2000

Sylvie Fleury (b. 1961) subversively takes on capitalist aesthetics through a distinctly feminized lens, examining the intersection of popular and high culture. Engaging with the mechanics of materialistic desire, aesthetics and construction of value, Sylvie Fleury's sleek, alluring works provide a lens through which contemporary politics of gender, beauty and consumerism can be re-evaluated. This engine is cast from the lightest-ever engine made à la the film Ford vs Ferrari, but was cast in bronze and chrome coated, making it extremely and ironically heavy.

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Mary Heilmann

Overcast, 2015

Mary Heilman (b. 1940) has been influenced by the 1960’s counterculture, the free speech movement, and the surf ethos of her native California. She ranks among the most influential abstract painters of her generation. Heilmann’s practice overlays the analytical geometries of Minimalism with the spontaneous ethos of the Beat Generation, and are  always distinguishable by their often unorthodox–always joyful–approach to color and form. They are often subtly humorous and deceptively simple.

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Justine Kurland

Car Show, 2013

Kurland (b.1969) is a contemporary American Photographer. Best known for her large scale C-prints of rural landscapes inhabited by nude women, Kurland’s surreal images evoke pagan utopias, post-apocalyptic, or pre-industrial worlds. Her work often depicts communes in rural America as her  subject matter, inspired by 19th-century idyllic English landscape paintings. The touch of the hand in this work is both graceful and subversive in its androgyny.

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Peter Larkin

Motorcycle, undated

Peter Larkin (b. 1926 - d. 2019) first designed the set of the 1951 Broadway adaptation of The Wild Duck by Ibsen. Over the course of his career, he was a scenic or production designer for Dial M for Murder, Peter Pan, The Teahouse of the August Moon, No TIme for Sergeants, Tootsie, and Get Shorty. He won four Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design. This work is inspired by Rollie Free’s attempt to break the land speed record—see the last entry on this list. 

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Kristen Morgin

Wrecked Spyder, 2010

Kristen Morgin’s (b.1968) sculptures, composed mainly of clay, exert both beauty and loss, as her subjects appear to be unearthed or abandoned objects in varying states of ruin or decay. Morgin's remarkable ability to conjure the texture of accessible objects such as carved wood, rusted metal, and fabric realized in clay emphasizes the complexity of the present by way of the past. The work, made of unfired clay, is intended to eventually crumble, evoking mortality and entropy.

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Malcolm Morley

Ring of Fire, 2009

Morley (b.1931- d. 2018) is acknowledged as one of the earliest innovators of Superrealism, which developed as a counterpoint to Pop Art in the 1960s. Over the course of his distinguished career, Morley defied stylistic characterization, moving by turns through so-called abstract, realist, neo-romantic, and neo-expressionist painterly modes, while being attentive to his own biographical experiences. He had glee in making boyish things with a raging sense of invention. This work is made entirely of paper.

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Richard Prince

Untitled (Super Bee Hood #1), 1989

Prince (b.1949) is best known for mining images from mass media, advertising and entertainment since the late 1970s, Richard Prince has redefined the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura. Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art, he  evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet which is unquestionably his own. Jokes, ads, the Marlboro Man and other cultural icons show up in his work, but this piece achieves pure abstraction.

Ed Ruscha

Hydraulic Muscles, Pneumatic Smiles, 2014

Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) started his artistic career by calling himself an “abstract artist… who deals with subject matter.” Abandoning academic connotations that came to be associated with Abstract Expressionism, he looked instead to tropes of advertising and brought words–as form, symbol, and material – to the forefront of painting. His wry sense of humor is evident in this iconic work.

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David Salle

Lustre Creme, 2016-2017

David Salle (b.1952) is a contemporary American painter, printmaker, and photographer. A prominent Neo-Expressionist artist, his collage-like paintings feature overlapping imagery from a variety of sources, such as magazines, interior decor, and       art history. His compositions, using brilliant color palettes, are rendered in a deceptively straightforward style, colliding incongruent figures and patterns.

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Cindy Sherman

Untitled Film Still #49, 1979

Cindy Sherman (b. 1954) has probed the construction of identity, playing with visual and cultural codes of art, celebrity, gender, and photography. She is among the most significant artists of the Pictures generation who came of age in the 1970s, responding to the mass media landscape around them with both humor and criticism, appropriating images from advertising, film, television, and magazines. 

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Peter Stampfli

Untitled, 1971

Peter Stampfli (b.1937) is a figurative visual artist, whose work  was stylistically close to British Pop Art. Later, his practice focused on the theme of the automobile, creating artworks inspired by the representation of the tire, which he released from  its context to keep only the geometric and purified print, redefined in different media. He was one of the earliest Swiss artists to be associated with Pop Art.

Henry Taylor

Look, 2015

Henry Taylor (b. 1958) paints quick, loose portraits of his relatives, friends, celebrities, and athletes on large and small canvases, as well as creating evocative sculptures and assemblages of found materials. “I paint those subjects I have love and sympathy for,” he has said. He draws on the folk art and modernism present in a strain of African American painting that traces back to Jacob Lawerernce and Romare Bearden.

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Kenji Yanobe

Atom Suit Project: Bumper Car, Chernobyl, 1997

Kenji Yanobe (b. 1965) incorporates the theme of survival in present-day society into his work, creating numerous large-scale mechanical sculptural works that may be attached to one’s body or ridden and controlled. With the dawn of the 21st century, Yanobe shifted to the theme of revival, and in 2003, he held the exhibition Megalomania, the culmination of his work up to that time. The fact that this is located in Chernobyl is particularly poignant.

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Bonus note: Peter Larkin's Motorcycle (see Larkin's entry above) was inspired by the successful attempt at setting a motorcycle land speed record of 150mph by Rollie Free in 1948, riding either a Vincent Black Shadow or a Vincent Black Lightning, a point of controversy. His record has been broken many times since and now stands at 420mph, set with a Dodge Tomahawk.