Automania at The Museum of Modern Art, July 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022

“The Museum of Modern Art presents Automania, an exhibition that investigates the conflicted feelings—compulsion, fixation, desire, and rage—that developed in response to cars and car culture in the 20th century. This two-part exhibition consists of presentations in the third-floor galleries (July 4, 2021–January 2, 2022) and first-floor lobby and Sculpture Garden (July 4–October 10, 2021), showcasing a total of nine cars from the Museum’s collection. Taking its name from the 1964 Oscar-nominated animation by Halas and Batchelor, Automania examines the car as a modern industrial product, transportation innovator, and style icon, as well as the generator of fatalities, traffic-choked environments, and ecological disaster in the oil age.” — The Museum of Modern Art

“Cars have reimagined mobility, connecting us across great distances at ever greater speed, but this increased freedom and economic empowerment have come at the expense of tremendous human suffering and environmental damage,” says Juliet Kinchin. “Throughout the 20th century the car has inspired innumerable examples of innovation, social transformation, and critical debate among designers, architects, artists, filmmakers, and photographers.”

Installation view of Automania, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022. © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Installation view of Automania, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022. © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Robert Gerhardt.
Halas and Batchelor. Film still from Automania 2000. 1963. 35mm film transferred to video, 10 min. Directed by John Halas. Written by Joy Batchelor. Animated by Harold Whitaker. Art Directed by Tom Bailey. Composed by Jack King. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 1963 Halas and Batchelor.
Andy Warhol. Orange Car Crash Fourteen Times. 1963. Silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on two canvases, 8′ 9 7/8″ x 13′ 8 1/8″ (268.9 x 416.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Installation view of Automania, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022. © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Denis Doorly.
Installation view of Automania, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022. © 2021 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Denis Doorly.

Automania was curated by Juliet Kinchin, Paul Galloway, and Andrew Gardner.

Images courtesy The Museum of Modern Art.