Review: “Eyes on the Road” at the Petersen Museum

Cars04Eyes on the Road at Petersen Museum

The Petersen’s new exhibit examines the artwork inspired by automotive culture

Opening this past weekend, the Petersen Automotive Museum’s latest exhibit ‘Eyes on the Road’ features artwork inspired by cars and automotive culture. There are no fabulous portraits of cars, racing drivers or famous races here, however. The art on display focuses on the everyday objects and places that serve the automobile and, whether intentionally or accidentally, rise to the level of an art in themselves.

No exhibit of this type would be complete without Ed Ruscha’s work. The artist, who has worked in Los Angeles since the 1960s, and whose work which celebrates the banal and everyday, is prominently featured in the exhibit. And for good reason: He has chronicled and commented on, through art, film, books and photography, the automotive landscape of Los Angeles for over fifty years. His iconic artwork “Standard” is on display, but also his signage and typography, which recalls the typography of road signs developed for the region (some of which are also on display).

StandardEyes on the Road at Petersen Museum

“Standard” by Ed Ruscha – a Pop art classic

Also featured are the works of Harry B. Chandler, which recall the style of Wayne Thiebaud (sadly absent here). Two large paintings, which illustrate aerial views of freeway intersections in seemingly bucolic landscapes, are an… 

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