The Pinacoteca Agnelli, Turin will host the ‘In Reverse’ exhibition by designer Ron Arad. Over the last 30 years, Arad has made a pivotal contribution to the art, design and architecture worlds and with this in mind FIAT – Main Sponsor of the event – was simply unable to pass up this internationally unique kaleidoscope of colours and materials, particularly with the iconic FIAT 500 featuring so prominently in the exhibition.
Having come to international attention with his “Rover Chair” and “Bookworm” bookshelf, Arad has previously collaborated with many leading brands including Alessi, Vitra, Moroso and Swarovski, and he also designed Yohji Yamamoto’s Tokyo store among his numerous 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 test 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 FIAT cars 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, as well as and a number of crushed objects, such as a toy police car that he found forty years ago in a street in Tel Aviv and 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’. The exhibition opens on December 10 2013 and will run until March 20 2014.