FreeWheeling: The Allure of the Automobile in Contemporary Art at The Bascom

Three rare automobiles are currently on display at The Bascom as part of FreeWheeling: The Allure of the Automobile in Contemporary Art exhibit.

FreeWheeling is special exhibition presented in partnership with Highlands Motoring Festival in The Bascom’s Bunzl Gallery.

An original 1963 “split window” Corvette on display at the Bascom as part of the FreeWheeling exhibit.

Currently on display include a 1954 Jaguar XK-120 once owned by Clark Gable, a “real” 1965 427 Cobra, and an original 1963 “split window” Corvette. These automobiles are part of a rotating display of rare cars that are meant to be a testament to the concept of the automobile itself as art.

Pictured below car enthusiasts and staff move a 1963 Corvette into The Bascom: Center for the Visual Arts.

In addition to the rare cars, FreeWheeling features works of renowned international automotive artists, including canvas, paper, and sculpture.

This multi-tiered experience curated by artist and architect, Knight Martorell, is presented in the appreciation of art and the automobile.

It examines design as art, the inherent duality of functional art, the allure of the automobile as art itself inspiring expression in another art-form, and the dialogue between inspiration and expression.

Moving a Corvette through The Bascom’s doors was a tight squeeze.

“FreeWheeling intends to position the viewer within the dynamic dialogue between automobiles displayed as exceptional examples of functional art and the artwork these machines inspire,” said Martorell. “A contributing subplot within the FreeWheeling experience is the inherent dichotomy of functional works of art. It is my personal conviction that the purpose of art is to alter one’s perception such that, upon turning away from a painting or sculpture, the viewer now considers the world around them a little differently. Humans can be sentimental creatures, but nostalgia and sentimentality that only serves to soothe and bolster preexisting perceptions and emotions should never be its sole intention.”

Celebrating a job well done.

The Bascom’s major exhibitions highlight the work of the artists who live and work in the region, The Bascom instructors and students, Artist Fellows and Residents, as well as world-renowned artists whose work might not otherwise be seen in this region.

The Bascom’s three galleries and the Winkler Sculpture and Nature Trail are host to approximately 10 exhibitions each year, which pair with education programs to attract 20,000 visitors annually.

Pictured at the top of the article is Artist and Architect Knight Martorell driving a a 1954 Jaguar XK-120 once owned by Clark Gable through the covered bridge at The Bascom.

Photos by Brian O’Shea

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