MoMA Newly Launched Art Exhibit 'Automania'

Hannah DeWitt
· 4 min read
Car history
is quite a broad topic, spanning from the first automobiles to the tech-savvy
electric vehicles
coming out today. Now, there is a car-inspired exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA) that’s going to commemorate it. 
The name of the exhibit is called 'Automania.' It takes a unique look at the history of cars in America. Automania both celebrates and critiques car culture, making it one of the best-curated exhibits we've seen in a while.  
MoMA is taking a highly artistic approach to their exhibit, though many iconic cars will be featured.

The cars of Automania

Are cars pieces of art? MoMA thinks so, as they brought in a dozen pristine vintage cars for their exhibit. It's hard to choose which one is our favorite, as they are all spectacular in their own right. 
One vehicle that stands out isn't even a car. It's a vintage Airstream Bambi Travel Trailer. The stainless steel was polished so well that you can easily see yourself in its reflection. It will make you nostalgic for an era you weren't even alive in. 
Another gem is the 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT. According to
MoMA
, only 170 of these cars were ever produced, making it both a piece of history and art. Supposedly, most of its components were handmade, including the body panels that were hammered over wooden forms. MoMA was able to get its hands on this rare and elegant car in 1972. 
According to
The Drive
, there are 8 other cars on display: a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Roadster, a 1973 Citroen DS 23 sedan, a 1965
Porsche 911
, a 1990 Ferrari 641/2 F1 race car, a 1968 Fiat 500, a 1959 Volkswagen Type 1 sedan, a 1953 Willys M-38A1 , and a 2002 Smart car. 
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Art pieces at the exhibit

It's not just car oil at Automania, but a lot of canvas oil too. MoMA curated some of their best car-related art pieces to display alongside the actual cars.
One piece that you can't miss even if you try is Andy Warhol's Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times. True to its name, it’s a series of photographs showing a car crash. In an authentic Warholian fashion, all photos are identical and shown 14 times. They are placed on a bright red canvas, which makes the piece overtly violent. 
Visitors can also see works by Giacomo Balla, Pablo Picasso, and Judy Chicago. 

What is the message of Automania? 

Automania is named after a 10-minute cartoon of the same name. The cartoon was made in 1964 and predicted what car culture would be like in the year 2000. It is a critical and satirical look at cars and consumerism. 
In the cartoon, people get obsessed with buying bigger and fancier cars. Soon, there are too many cars on the road, and cars are no longer an efficient means of transportation. With all the roads clogged with traffic, people start relying on helicopter deliveries for all their needs. 
Seeing this cartoon played alongside beautiful classic cars provides a clear message: too much of a good thing is bad. 

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