There was a time when automobiles were considered works of art. “I’d like for people to think of cars as kinetic sculpture, rolling art, wonderful design objects in their own right,” says Ken Gross, guest curator of “Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945–1975,” an exhibition at Nashville’s Frist Center (May 27 to October 9). The twenty-two vehicles Gross chose for the show — nineteen cars and three motorcycles — feature the hallmarks and details typical of modern sculpture. Sensuous curves, raked angles, rectilinear precision, anthropomorphic silhouettes, metallic finishes so vibrant that the vehicles could transform any expressway into a fashion runway.
“All of these cars and motorcycles are superstars,” says Gross. “These are some of the greatest cars ever made.” Indeed, no parking lot or dealership could ever contain a range of vehicles this artistic, as well as functional.
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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FRIST CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
WRITTEN BY BARBARA S. TAPP
This story appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of MILIEU.
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