Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dream Cars & Fashion in Indianapolis

One excellent show, another so-so 

L'Oeuf Électrique, 1942
     We found out about the Dream Cars exhibition at The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) in January.  The time is limited since it ends in late August, but it’s worth seeing because these are one-of-a-kind automobiles that were designed and built as prototypes between 1934 and now.  
2010 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Car
They weren’t put into production, though the final model, which is a Porsche doesn’t look that much different from some of their current models.  It seems more like a synthesis between a Porsche and the Batmobile.

1959 Cadillac and 1955 Buick
     The Big Three U.S. automakers are represented from the 1950s; the Buick and Chrysler models display elements that were utilized in later commercial models, which is 
1935 Bugatti
fascinating.  The European designers actually seemed more ahead of their time and pulled off some astonishing work, especially the spectacular Voisin and Bugatti cars.  There’s a Ferrari from 1966 that has a bench front seat that seats three with a centrally located steering wheel and a current BMW with a body made of fabric so that it can be adjusted continually, rather than having to build yet another prototype from scratch in metal.

1936 Scarab
     There are also examples of independent designers’ work such as the Scarab, which was the precursor to the van, the Airstream trailer, or an SUV, but was built in 1936.  It had a woven interior ceiling, sort of akin to a picnic basket, as well as seating that could be adjusted and turned around the way seating used to be on Southwestern Airlines.

It’s worth the drive to see this show.

2001 BMW Gina Light Visionary Model

The 20s Represented by Soeurs and Lanvin
     The Cutting-Edge Fashion: Recent Acquisitions exhibition pales in comparison to similarly themed or sized shows that we’ve seen at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Covering the 1920s to the present, it includes pieces by major designers (Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake) as well as from the U.S., Europe, and Japan.  The Franco Moschino designs towards the end were wild, witty, and actually wearable.

Wedding Dress
in Need of an Iron 
     There were some problems with the exhibition, beginning with the fact that most of the pieces needed to be steamed since they were wrinkled.  The clothes needed to be fitted to the mannequins.  In a couple of cases, there wasn’t a foundation built on the mannequins properly so they looked as if a child were wearing her mother’s clothes.  One of the Westwood dresses featured cut outs, yet the curator put in backing cloth that looked wadded up and completely ruined the effect of the dichotomy between cloth and skin.  

Christian LaCroix
     The last time we visited the IMA, the guards and one of the docents could not have been friendlier and well informed.  This time, we encountered guards that corrected us every time Neil, Sue or I pointed at something because we might set off an alarm or touch a piece.  We’ve been to museums before.  We know not to touch anything; we were merely pointing out details.  One guard was so overly eager and officious that we felt like we were being followed from gallery to gallery on different floors.  When Neil expressed this opinion, he was told, “There’s a pattern where we change locations every fifteen minutes.”  Neil didn’t believe him.  I thought he was an asshole.

However, IMA is still a wonderful museum and many of the staff members are enthusiastic and friendly.

Dream Cars runs through August 23, 2015.
Cutting-Edge Fashion runs through january 3, 2016.

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