Is This The Best Collection Of Car Photos Ever?
“280 Coup” by Ms Justine Kurland, 2012. Photograph courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. © Justine Kurland
Fondation Cartier in Paris presents Autophoto, an exhibition of pictures from some of the world’s best artists.
If there’s one invention that defined the visual landscape of the 20th century, it’s the car. From the physical impact it has had on our surroundings – in the form of roads, lights, road signs and parking metres – to the idea of freedom and independence that it represents – immortalised in movies from Thelma & Louise to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – it’s exerted an influence on our everyday lives that can hardly be overstated.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that the subject of cars, and their relation to photography, has provided incredibly rich pickings for Autophoto, the latest exhibition to open at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris. Bringing together car-centric works from the likes of photographic greats including Messrs William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Daido Moriyama and more, the show chronicles our developing relationship with the car as a visual muse, whether it’s the subject of a portrait, a technological marvel to be picked apart, or an omnipresent frame through which we have come to view the contemporary world.
”Flower Power Bug near 23rd Street and 6th Avenue”, New York City by Mr Langdon Clay, 1976. Photograph courtesy of the artist. © Langdon Clay
Highlights of the show, which features an impressive 500 works from 90 photographers, both well- and lesser-known, include Mr Langdon Clay’s haunting portraits of parked vehicles in the seedily lit streets of 1970s New York as well as Mr Ed Burtynsky’s awesome (and terrifying) large-scale prints of industrial waste sites. Of course, it’s also a chance, quite simply, to see some beautiful vintage cars, from the sleek bullet shaped designs captured by Mr Yasuhiro Ishimoto in his 1950s photographs of Chicago, to the wonderfully un-cool sedans and vans that are the subjects of Mr Bernhard Fuchs’ series “Autos 1994-2004”.