Industry and art meet in ‘Fantastic Machinery’
The new exhibition of Istanbul Modern intends to show how the industrial world and modern production, especially that of the ultimate 20th-century object the car.
The “Fantastic Machinery” exhibition, a special selection from Renault’s world-famous art collection, opened yesterday at Istanbul Modern.
Curated by historian and art critic Ann Hindry, the exhibition features works by world-renowned artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jean Dubuffet, Arman and Robert Doisneau, and forges closer ties between art and the industrial world.
The exhibition intends to show how the industrial world and modern production, especially that of the ultimate 20th-century object, the car, has triggered the imagination and nurtured the talent of some of the greatest artists at different times and in diverse circumstances.
Speaking during the opening of the exhibition, İbrahim Aybar, Renault MAIS’ general manager, said that during the 1960s, when industry was much less developed, Renault adopted a production style ahead of its time. “Renault, as an industrial body, did not limit itself solely to production but provided special support to art and artists.”
Noting that this support had been established on an unusual approach, Aybar said: “Renault chose a path that is totally different from conventional corporate sponsorship. Instead of purchasing completed art works, the company preferred to establish a partnership between art and pioneering production and achieved this in a short time.”
Renault effectively embraced art in a corporate fashion, he said. “The Renault Modern Art Collection contributes to the brand’s history and plays an exemplary … role in this context. It continues to contribute to the company’s image and fame both in France and all around the world.”
Hindry said the collection had improved rapidly during the recent years. “The collection, being innovative when compared to its time and consisting of distinctive works, is still unique, even today.”
The curator also said the French car giant had been “courageous” in its approach to art. “Renault is continuously moving forward, and it always has the courage to enter new fields. Renault has proven this by opening its doors to contemporary art in France in a manner never seen before. Today, it opens its doors to the entire world as a part of this approach. The ‘Fantastic Machinery’ exhibition is a glorious part of the company’s vast heritage.”
Turkish artist to be included in collection
Hindry also said a Turkish artist would participate in the collection, but did not elaborate on the person’s identity.
“Renault’s ‘Fantastic Machinery’ exhibition at Istanbul Modern is going to give an opportunity for an artist from Turkey as well. An artist will be commissioned for a project within the framework of world industry and the Renault collection. We will sponsor the artist during the production phase of the work.
This artist’s work will be included in the Renault Art Collection when the project is completed.”
“Fantastic Machinery” includes a selection of 53 examples from the works of artists such as Arman, Doisneau, Dubuffet, Rauschenberg, Robert Frank, Frank Horvat, Jean-Luc Moulène, Marc Riboud, Takis and Jean Tinguely. The result is an exhibition that feels both like a ride through a fantasy world and an unusual reminder of how art came to include life in the course of the 20th century.
The show, which has already traveled to Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paolo and Moscow, will be on display in Istanbul between April 18 and June 16.