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Roy Lichtenstein's Art Car at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Roy Lichtenstein museum left panel.

TEL AVIV.- Tel Aviv Museum of Art presents an unusual exhibition: sixteen cars, representing the top design of cars in the 20th century. Car design is considered among the peaks of industrial design, and the designers of the exhibited cars are among the most famous European and American designers. Fifteen of the exhibited cars are fro Israeli collections, and one car is from the BMW collection in Berlin – the BMW 320i Art Car painted by Roy Lichtenstein.

Commenting on his design of the BMW 320i, Roy Lichtenstein said: "I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction of the road showing the car where to go – the design also shows the countryside through which the car has travelled. One could call it an enumeration of everything a car experiences, only that this car reflects all of these things before actually having been on a road."

A Lichtenstein diptych, Tel Aviv Museum Mural, 1989, is on permanent display at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The artist's use of Ben-Day dots, of thick, dark outlines characteristic of comics, as well as his use of industrial paint, are evident in the mural as well as in the painting on the car. Lichtenstein used the Ben-Day dots in his work for shading images and abstract surfaces. In the car painting, these dots allude to the car's motion. The spatial context is an inherent component of Lichtenstein's work. The diptych, created especially for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, deals with the Museum's space and with the works of art it holds.

The left-hand panel refers to some of the works in the collection. Thus, for example, Marc Chagall's fiddler can be seen hovering in the panel's upper part; the middle shows one of Picasso's disassembled images. The word "art" appears in the painting's lower part. The right-hand panel, in which the images are more abstract, refers to the Museum's building. The diagonal lines cutting across the panel are the same diagonal lines that can be seen opposite, in the ramp-leading up from the entrance to the galleries. The spatial context is also expressed in the painting of the car. Its panels are painted with a "fleeting landscape", as well as a sun extending its rays throughout the vehicle. The car's lower part is painted with green fields and a horizon line. The landscape is the open spaces of the USA , through which the car travels.

Upon completion, Lichtenstein's Art Car premiered twice: as a work of art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and as a racing car in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June 1977. It was driven by Frenchmen Hervé Poulain and Marcel Mignot. Its racing number was 50, and it achieved 9th place in the overall rating and finished first in its class.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art | Roy Lichtenstein | BMW Collection |

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