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  • From July 23, 2022 to January 22, 2023 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles
  • The exhibition features 40 important works of art by Andy Warhol Cars series
  • The works are on display along with five of the Mercedes-Benz vehicle models depicted by Warhol
  • The series returns to the United States for the first time in over 30 years

From July 23, 2022 to January 22, 2023, the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection will present some of its most prestigious and arguably best-known treasures at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles: the exhibition “Andy Warhol: Cars – Works from the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection” features 27 screen prints on canvas and 13 drawings of Andy Warhol’s famous work Cars series. In the photos, the American pop artist uses eight selected Mercedes-Benz models to document the history of the automobile – from the Benz Patent Motor Car of 1886 to the C 111-II research car built in 1970. At Petersen Automotive Museum – one of the largest car museums in the world – works are on display along with five of the eight vehicles represented by Warhol – including the streamlined Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 W 196 R racing car, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” Coupé (W 198) and the 750 kilogram Mercedes-Benz W 125 formula racing car.

Renate Wiehager, head of the Mercedes-Benz art collection: “Since the highly acclaimed presentation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1988, the work of Andy Warhol Cars The series has been invited to major museums around the world. We are very happy that after more than 30 years, it will be widely seen in the United States. Warhol’s name has “mythical” appeal in the context of art, as shown by the number of visitors to his exhibitions. This also applies to the Mercedes-Benz brand name in its context, which – materialized by the star symbol – has a sure field of connotations: beautiful, fast, modern, luxurious, quality.”

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Member of the Mercedes-Benz Group Board of Directors for Integrity and Legal Affairs, is also responsible for the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection: “We are delighted to once again make these great images available to a large international audience in the Los Angeles exhibition and thus contribute to the promotion of culture and education. Because that is precisely the purpose of our art collection: with our social commitment to culture and education, we want to create a recognizable benefit for the common good. Andy Warhol’s works have inspired people for generations – just like Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Two great brands meet in the Cars series.”

The Cars series: Legendary affair between Andy Warhol and Mercedes-Benz

The series Cars is one of the last coherent sets of works by Andy Warhol before his death in February 1987. The artist created the series at the turn of the year 1986/87 on behalf of Daimler-Benz AG on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the automobile. Originally, 80 photos of 20 car models from eight different decades were planned, but only 36 screen prints on canvas and 13 drawings could be made. To date, 30 serigraphs and drawings from the series are part of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. The works are accessible at the various sites of the Mercedes-Benz Group to employees and the public as part of recorded guided tours.

Renate Wiehager: “Warhol saw himself as a partner in commissioning situations whose aim was to transfer a product into another context: into the context of art, into the context of the ‘Warhol aura’. However, such product transfer is most successful when two products meet on the same plane. The commission alliance between Andy Warhol and Mercedes-Benz can be described as a stroke of luck “on equal footing”. Two top products have come together here, each one being absolutely “top” in its field.”

In his Cars series, Andy Warhol devotes himself for the first time to an industrial product of European origin. After the “Coca-Cola Bottles”, the “Campbell’s Soup Cans” or the dollar bills that made the American famous in the 1960s, a legendary brand in German automotive history is today in the center of his art. With the eight vehicle models represented, Warhol shows both the scalability and the historical character of a product. For previous Warhol series with motifs from Campbell’s, Heinz or Del Monte, it was of paramount importance that American products were shippable everywhere and available endlessly. In Warhol’s paintings of the 1980s, this “now-temporality” is transformed into an attitude that also allows for the past and development.

The Mercedes-Benz Art Collection

The Mercedes-Benz Art Collection was founded in 1977 and is today one of Europe’s most important internationally renowned corporate collections. The collection includes approximately 3,000 works by over 650 artists. The initial interest, first linked to pictorial works, was directed towards artists from southern Germany. These included teachers and students from the Stuttgart Academy such as Adolf Hölzel, Oskar Schlemmer, Willi Baumeister, Hans Arp and Max Bill. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection also includes international art and has a clear profile based on art and science. This is based on the systematic structure of the collection with content focused on abstract-constructive, conceptual and minimalist art as well as contemporary photography and media art.

Exhibitions of works in the company, at the Mercedes-Benz Contemporary at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and in international museums (New York, Detroit, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires), allow the amateur public to art of engaging with large-scale collecting. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection awards sponsorship prizes for young art and offers an accompanying educational program for schoolchildren. The corporate collection emphasizes sustainable processes: for example, it presents thematic exhibitions in different locations and uses materials and technology for exhibition concepts in a multifunctional way. At the same time, it plans packaging and transport efficiently and for long-term use, and reduces travel distances as much as possible.

Further information on the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection can be found on the Internet: mercedes-benz.art/

Tickets to the exhibit and more information about the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles are available at www.Petersen.org.

Photos with numbers 22C0255_01, 22C0255_02, 22C0255_03 and 22C0255_04 are also available on Mercedes-Benz Group Media.

Please note the following important information before and when using images with works by Andy Warhol (image numbers 22C0255_01 and 22C0255_02):

The Andy Warhol Foundation draws attention to the fact that permission to reproduce images is granted only for use in conjunction with media report on the exhibition “Andy Warhol: Cars – Works from the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection” at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles from July 23, 2022 to January 22, 2023. All reproductions of images must be accompanied by the following legend: © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.. Any digital reproduction of the images can only be published with a resolution not exceeding 72 dpi and a size of max. 4 inches (W x H). Images may not be offered for download.