Art and artifacts on display (including a "Madmen" era automobile) exemplify Volvo's on-going commitment to design excellence and environmental sustainability
When Tom Lamb was asked what driving his insistently futuristic, meticulously restored 1962 P1800 roadster means to him after so many years, the veteran artist and environmentalist responded by conjuring an image in his minds-eye of motoring through a crowded South Coast canyon road to the beach with the wind in his hair. Fellow drivers cheer and give him the thumbs up when he drops into fourth, flips on the overdrive and safely speeds past the weekend traffic. Lamb's high-flying response to this provocative conversation starter is emblematic of the spirit of his journey in art over many decades and this adventurous attitude is embedded in the contents of a new, "auto" biographical two part exhibition on view at LA ART SHOW 2014 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, January 15-19, 2014.
Marks on the Land & Art on the Road
The photographs and objects in Lamb's two part exhibition are intended to help the public better understand how society interacts with land, indisputably the planet’s most valuable and increasingly threatened resource. Tom Lamb has dedicated his career to creating memorable photographs of worldwide environmental challenges from a land use perspective. While his images are seductively beautiful on the surface they also warn of trouble ahead for our children and grandchildren if industry and its consumers don't change their tune. Marks on the Land (displayed in the Volvo Contemporary exhibition space No.1000) features large-scale aerial photographs showcasing compelling landscapes transformed by agriculture, munitions, automobiles, railroads, real estate development and oil production.
Part two of the exhibition entitled Art on the Road (displayed in the Volvo Traditional exhibition space No. 2008) at LA ART SHOW 2014, comprises Tom Lamb's restored Volvo 1962 Jensen P1800 plus images by other notable photographers thematically tied to the artist's personal journey as well as selections from his collection of 1960's Volvo advertising photography.
Born to Run
It is apparent that Volvo's ethics in the arena of comfort, safety and fuel efficiency are rooted in the classic values of Scandinavian design such as simplicity, functionality and durability. Design elements taken from the P1800 and contemporary Scandinavian art, fashion and music have apparently inspired the creation of these exceptional cars displayed adjacent to Lamb's masterful aerial photographs where colors, patterns and textures also emerge as lyrical abstractions that free the viewer from references to perspective, scale and function to reveal inner beauty and harmony. Pelle Peterson’s 1961 Volvo P1800 Concept Car (below).
Like Tom Lamb, Volvo is committed to an excellence in design as well as creativity and sound environmental practices including auto safety. Roughly translated from Latin, the word "Volvo" means "that's how I roll" and the company was born when its first car, the OV "Jakob" left the factory in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1927. Volvo, the first car manufacturer in the world to equip its vehicles with standard three point safety belts, first exported cars to North America in 1957. Their legendary 120 "Amazon" led the way in auto safety by offering unprecedented features such as padded dashboards. According to Field Marketing Manager, William Monroe, "our featured artist at the LA ART SHOW 2014 was also born to run and after forty years on the road his cameras are rolling faster than ever." Lamb's allies at Volvo like William Monroe are optimistic newly refined and powerful engines will swiftly surpass industry standards for efficient fuel consumption. And here's a convincing clincher: management recently announced that Volvo is currently offering buyers the world's first automobile Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection System to help its drivers avoid running into people riding bicycles. As Tom Lamb reminds us, "we all roll best when we all roll together."
Marks on the Land and Art on the Road will be on view at The LA Art Show fromJanuary 15 – 19, 2014 concurrently with the Los Angeles Jewelry, Antique & Design Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall 1201 Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Volvo's exhibitions at LA Art Show 2014 are curated by Henry Korn, who served as Art, Culture and Heritage Manager for the Orange County Great Park Corporation from 2008-2013 where he established the Palm Court Arts Complex artist-in-residence program and directed the Great Park Gallery.
For additional information about the LA Art Show, to register for lectures & book-signings or to purchase online tickets, please visit www.laartshow.com.