When the Future had Fins – Christopher W. Mount Gallery
Pacific Design Center
January 23 - May 20, 2015
When the Future had Fins: American Automotive Designs and Concepts, 1959-1973, at the Christopher W. Mount Gallery, Los Angeles, from 23 January to 20 May 2015.
In the last two decades, the art of drawing by hand has all but disappeared in many of the design professions. Though computers and software have created a useful bridge between inspiration and production, in fields such as architecture, automotive design, industrial design and even typography fewer and fewer practitioners take hand to paper to sketch and resolve ideas. The advantages of a dependence on the digital can be argued vigorously pro and con, but what is disappearing is the wonderful, expressive form of the design sketch or study, often a work of art that not only contains the height of skill and craftsmanship formally but also combines this with a cultural and historical significance.
This exhibition includes drawings done for America’s “Big Three”General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Used in the design process as studies and styling experiments as well as presentation drawings, the subjects range from a new version of a Cadillac to far-flung, futurist concepts.
The work represents a halcyon period for the American auto industry; with little foreign competition, regulation or worries about oil shortages, the designs are filled with an almost naïve optimism. Primarily concerned with styling and appearance, the designers took advantage of the medium. Thorny issues of practicality often take a back seat as the exhibition vacillates between those by “advanced stylists” who created the futuristic concepts in the hopes that this experimentation would keep the company’s product fresh and cutting-edge, and the more traditional stylists creating new version of existing or new models.
Since the early seventies our society’s unquestioned faith in technology’s ability to fix problems has waned. These drawings, however, encapsulate a time when artistic skill and expression met beautifully and significantly with America’s most important and defining business, the automotive industry.
About the Gallery
Christopher Mount the founder/director of the Gallery has close to thirty years of experience curating, writing and teaching about design and architecture. A former MoMA curator and Editor-in-Chief of I.D. Magazine, he has also curated exhibitions as MOCA, LACMA and directed the exhibitions program at Parsons
The Gallery presents drawings, sketches, models, prints, art experiments and photography by prominent figures engaged the design arts offering the public a chance to view and purchase stunning and culturally significant types of works already collected for many years by major museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Courtesy of Christopher W. Mount Gallery
Christopher W. Mount Gallery – LOS ANGELES
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Closed for good in February 2019, Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood was the venue of the MOCA Los Angeles dedicated to architecture, fashion and design
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