Fiat 500 is star of the ‘In Reverse’ exhibition by Ron Arad
• The most recent works by the internationally renowned artist, designer and architect on display at the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin, from 20 December 2013 to 30 March 2014: a tribute to the iconic 500 from the 1950s
• Fiat brand Main Sponsor of the event
• The spotlight is on Arad’s new project, which explores, through physical experiments and digital simulations, the way in which automobile bodies behave under compression
• The ’Dried Flowers’ installation (2013), with six Fiat 500s ’flattened’ in order to eliminate the sense of depth, as in a cartoon or a child’s drawing
• On show also ’Roddy Giacosa’ (2013) - a sculpture created by positioning hundreds of polished stainless steel rods on a metal armature in the shape of a classic Fiat 500 - and ’Slow Outburst’ (2013), a video that shows a digital simulation of the process of crushing the new Fiat 500
From 20 December 2013 to 30 March 2014, the Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin will host the ’In Reverse’ exhibition by Ron Arad, one of the world’s most influential and enigmatic designers who, over the last 30 years has made a pivotal contribution to the art, design and architecture worlds.
By no means could Fiat - Main Sponsor of the event - pass up this internationally unique kaleidoscope of colours and materials, with its iconic 500 from the 1950s, confirming its attention to the world of Art and Design, a communications ’territory’ in which it is visibly in its element. The new Fiat 500 shares the same iconic nature: the Italian car is current best seller in its segment in Europe spreading its fun and zest for life. Not by chance, it is the Fiat model with the highest level of sales outside of Italy: more than 1,200,000 units sold from 2007 to date, 80% of which internationally during 2013.
Brought to international fame by his “Rover chair” and “Bookworm” serpentine bookshelf, Arad has collaborated with leading brands such as Alessi, Vitra, Moroso and Swarovski and designed Yohji Yamamoto’s Tokyo store, among many other critically acclaimed projects. Arad has presented his works at Centre Pompidou in Paris, MOMA in New York and the Barbican in London.
’In Reverse’ will focus on a major new project, first shown this year at the Design Museum Holon - the iconic building designed by Arad in Tel Aviv - exploring, through physical experiments and digital simulations, the way in which automobile bodies, specifically the Fiat 500, behave under compression.
On the clean white walls of the spaces designed by Renzo Piano at the Pinacoteca Agnelli’s 4th floor, at the level of the Lingotto track, where Fiat automobiles including the 500 were tested until the 1980s, Arad will install ’Dried Flowers’ (2013): six crushed Fiat 500s, flattened in order to eliminate the sense of depth , as in a cartoon or a child’s drawing. The crushed vehicles will surround a curved wooden forming buck, a mould that was used to shape and fit the metal panels of the 500, which is on loan from the Fiat Historic Archive and Museum.
Arad will also present ’Roddy Giacosa’ (2013), a new sculpture created by positioning hundreds of polished stainless steel rods on a metal armature in the shape of a Fiat 500. Each contoured section takes the shape of one of the vehicle’s panels and the parts fit together to form the body of the car. The mould for this work will also be shown.
Alongside the walls displaying the crushed Fiats will be a group of Arad’s designs, primarily chairs made from steel, tracing his experimentation with the medium from his earliest works in the 1980s and a number of crushed objects, such as a toy police car that he found forty years ago in a street in Tel Aviv, as well as other objects that were studies and tests, including a bottle rack that he had flattened by a steamroller.
’In Reverse’ will also feature ’Slow Outburst’ (2013) the artist’s digital simulation of the crushing process, using the most recent model of the Fiat 500, as well as a sculpture derived from one frame of the film ’Drop’ (2013), made using a 3D printing technique. Digital prints on paper - ’Lets Drop It, OK?’ (2013) - capture the results of simulated digital compressions of the ’Roddy Giacosa’.
Ron Arad was born in Tel Aviv, 1951. He was educated at the Jerusalem Academy of Art and the Architectural Association in London. In 1981 he co-founded the One Off design and production studio with Caroline Thorman. This evolved into Ron Arad Associates and Ron Arad Architects.
Arad’s constant experimentation with materials and his radical reconception of form and structure have placed him at the forefront of contemporary art and design. Recent projects include Design Museum Holon in Israel, Mediacite in Belgium, Singapore Freeport and Vortex in Seoul.
Summer 2011 saw the launch of Curtain Call, Arad’s latest “sculpture”, made of silicon rods to create a canvas for film, live performance and a fusion between art and audiences. In 2011, he was awarded the 2011 London Design Medal for his longstanding contribution to design and the city.
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