Norman Foster curates car exhibition at Guggenheim Bilbao

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British architect Norman Foster designed and curated the display for the exhibition “Motion: Automobiles, Art and Architecture” in Bilbao Guggenheim. Many of his own cars are on display at this exhibition.

Designed by Frank Gehry, this exhibition spans the entire floor of Guggenheim Bilbao, featuring 20th and 21st century cars, as well as architecture and artwork related to speed and movement.

Foster, one of Britain’s most renowned architects and founder of Studio Foster + Partners, proposed an exhibition idea to Guggenheim himself to share his passion for cars.

Foster organized an exhibition on the history of automobiles. Above: The photo is courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.Above: Photo courtesy of Lauman Museum

The architect revealed that the first car he drove was the 1935 Morris Eight.

“I’ve always been passionate about locomotives, aircraft and car design. I’ve been able to fly different types of planes, helicopters, powered planes and jets and drive different vehicles,” Foster said. Mr. says. At the opening of the exhibition in Guggenheim Bilbao.

“As one prominent designer said, how can it appear in an exhibition to take your joy seriously?” He added.

“So I approached Guggenheim in New York with an idea and was asked to make this exhibition from among them.”

The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, 1936 was one of the cars on display.The photo is Michael Ferman

Although he worked closely with industry leaders, researchers and advisors, Foster was given complete freedom in choosing the cars on display.

“Clearly behind the choice was a lot of fun discussions with the individuals who make the decisions I respect, but in the end it’s a very personal choice,” he said. “It’s completely subjective.”

The nine cars on display are from Foster’s own collection, including the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, the 1961 Jaguar E-Type, and the 2010 Dymaxion Car 4 (below).

Green dymaxion car
Cars from Foster’s own collection are on display.Photo courtesy of Norman Foster Foundation

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are welcomed in 20th century cars, including Porsche’s first car, the Porsche Phaeton, and the 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/5 Alpine Eagle.

The room also displays the artwork of movement by photographer Eadweard Muybridge, which draws attention to the speed and interest in movement at the time.

Red racing car
Racing cars are on display towards the end of the exhibition.Image courtesy of Bende Chair

In the other seven galleries of the exhibition, cars are on display on a black raised platform designed by Foster.

From mass-produced cars like the 1951 Volkswagen Beetle and the original Mini Cooper to the world’s lowest concept sports car, the Lancia Stratos Zero, to the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Formula One W11 EQ Performance Racing Car. Drives cars in chronological order through themes such as sculpture, sports, visionary, Americana and more.

Blue alf aromeo racing car
Each car was personally chosen by Foster.The photo is Michael Ferman

The exhibition also highlights the trend towards electrification and uses college student designs to show what the future of mobility looks like.

Dotted throughout are sensory features such as a racing car roaring every 15 minutes and a clay modeling studio aimed at creating an immersive experience.

According to Foster, two major themes, “beauty and technology,” connect the exhibition.

“The two themes are beauty and technology, which can be perceptually transformed into a single vehicle or appear to be separated,” he said in a question and answer session at the opening of the exhibition. Said.

“Jeep and Duchevo have a utilitarian beauty, just like the highly curvy and luxurious customized body of one era.”

Bicycle pop art
The exhibition traces the connection between motors, art and architecture.Photo by Uwe Seyl

Foster also aimed to show how vehicle transformations are essentially related to the development of art and architecture, and to highlight the relationships between different disciplines.

“This exhibition will look at the affinity between technology and art. For example, how the use of wind tunnels helped us to use electricity more economically and aerodynamically speed up cars. Shows, “says the museum.

F1 car picture
Beauty and technology are the undercurrents that connect exhibitions

Foster became the winner of the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999 and was responsible for the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize.

He founded Studio Foster + Partners in 1967 for many well-known buildings around the world, including the Apple Park campus in California and the City Hall in London.

Motion: Cars, art and architecture are on display from April 8th to September 18th, 2022. See the Dezeen Event Guide for the latest list of architectural and design events.

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