Shrines to Speed

Art and the Automobile: From the Minimal to the Postmodern

New York

May 5 – July 16, 2016

Bruce High Quality Foundation 

Stump, 2016

Auto Grill, Headlights, Speakers, Motion Sensor 


John Baldessari 

National City (W,1,2,3,4,5,B), 1996/2009

Archival Ink Jet Photographs with Hand Painted Acrylic 

19.125 x 18.75 in; Edition 5/12

Andy Warhol 
Untitled (Imperial Car Detail), 1962 
Pencil on Paper 
18 x 24 / 45.7 x 61 cm

John Chamberlain
Popsicletoes, 2008
Painted chromed stainless steel
106 x 34 x 30 in / 269.2 x 86.4 x 76.2 cm


Dennis Hopper

Double Standard, c. 1961

Gelatin silver print

16 x 23 x 13/16 in / 40.7 x 60.5 cm

John Aaron Frank 
69 Cuda, 2015 
Silver and automotive clear on glass with steel armature 
40 x 49 x 11  

Aaron Young 
Untitled, circa 2010 
2 webster, 24K gold & brass 96 x 78.75 in / 243.8 x 200 cm

Robert Williams 
Untitled, 1979 
Oil on canvas 
19 x 24 in / 48.26 x 60.96 cm

Andy Warhol 
Avante, 1962 
Graphite on Paper 
18 x 24 /45.7 x 61 cm

Dana Powell
Richfield, 2015 
Oil on linen
12 x 14 in 

Courtesy of the artist and The Still House Group

Michael Andrew Page 
Foundering Ships, 2014 
Maple Veneer, Wood Stain, MDF, Gun Stock Oil, Polyurethane Varnish, Cellulose Paint, Vinyl Decal, Aluminium, Plaster 
Each: 39.37 x 27.56 in / 100 x 70 cm 

Richard Prince
Untitled (Van Door 3), 2007
Cast resin and fiberglass
54 x 55 x 5 in / 137.2 x 139.7 x 12.7 cm

Kaz Oshiro
Untitled (Car Bumper), 2001  
Actylic and bondo on stretched canvas 

5 x 74 x 14 in / 12.7 x 187.96 x 35.56 cm 

Signed and dated “Aug 01 Kaz Oshiro” on the reverse 


Ed Ruscha

Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966

Self-published book, offset lithograph 

7 1/8 x 5 3⁄4 x 3/8 in 


Long Term Parking, 2001

Accumulation of toy cars embedded in concrete block 18.5x6.3x6.3in (47x16x16cm)
Cast of 8 + 4 EA,
This Cast Number: EA 1/4

Arman Archive Number: APA# 8205.01.003 

Ron Arad 
Pressed Flower Petrol Blue, 2013
steel, glass, leather, plastic and vinyl
90.5 x 145.125 x 7.125 in (229.9 x 368.6 x 20 cm)

Ruth Orkin
Couple in MG, Florence, Italy, 1951
Gelatin Silver Print, printed later
11 x 14 in

Bruce Davidson
Brooklyn Gang (couple necking in car), 1959
Gelatin Silver Print, printed later
11 x 14 in

Arthur Leipzig
Hide + Seek, 1943
Gelatin Silver Print, printed later
11 x 14 in 

Jacques Henri Lartigue

The Lion Peugot racing car, Louis, Zissou, on the road back from Gaillon to Paris, Octover 6, 1912

Gelatin Silver Print, printed c.1963

11.75 x 13.12 in

William Klein
Selwyn, 42nd Street, New York, 1955
Gelatin Silver Print, printer later
15.75 x 11.75 in

Louis Faurer
Champion (Man in Times Square Staring), New York City, 1950
Silver Gelatin Print, printed 1980
11 x 14 in

William Gedney

Kentucky, 1964

Gelatin Silver Print

11.25 x 7.75 in

William Gedney
Kentucky, 1972
Gelatin Silver Print
6.75 x 10 in

William Gedney
Kentucky, 1972
Gelatin Silver Print
10 x 6.5 in

William Gedney
Gelatin Silver Print
10 x 6.75 in

William Gedney
Gelatin Silver Print
6.5 x 10 in

Andy Warhol
Car Crash, 1978-1979
Unique screenprint on paper
30.5 x 42.0 in / 77.5 x 109 cm

Blair Thurman
Goth Rocket, 2015
Acrylic on canvas on wood
56 x 26 x 3 in / 142.6 x 66.4 x 7.6 cm

Robert Rauschenberg

Shadow (Tracks), 1976

Clay, dirt, resin, and fiberglass with a wet soil patina

29 x 36 in

Image on behalf of Jim Kempner Fine Art

Robert Rauschenberg
Realm (Tracks), 1976
Clay, dirt, resin, and fiberglass with a wet soil patina
30.25 x 36.75 in

Image on behalf of Jim Kempner Fine Art

Rob Pruitt

Suicide Painting XXXVII, 2014

Acrylic on linen

108 x 81 in / 274.3 x 205.7 cm

Rob Pruitt
Totem 1 (Chrome), 2015
7 chromed rubber tires
72 x 39 x 39 in / 182.9 x 99.1 cm 

Richard Prince

Untitled (Upstate), 2006

Chromogenic crystal archive print

Image: 38.75 x 26 in (98.6 x 66 cm) / Paper: 40 x 30 in (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Richard Prince
Girlfriend, From Cowboys and Girlfriends, 1992

Ektacolor Photographs

20 x 24 in / 50.8 x 60.96 cm

Nick Farhi
Green Flag, 2016
Oil on Cotton
30 x 24 in


Richard Diebenkorn

Untitled, 1957-66

Oil on Canvas

14.25 x 19 in / 36.2 x 48.3 cm

Courtsey of the Estate of Richard Diebenkorn

Dana Powell
Isaac's triuck, 2016
Oil on linen
12 x 14 in

Courtesy of the artist and The Still House Group

Jack Pierson

Slow, 2009

Color photograph

10 x 8 in (25.4 x 20.32 cm)

Signed, numbered, dated verso

Raymond Pettibon

The Bell In, 1989

Pen and ink on paper

14 x 11 in

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Untitled (Cars / Teepees), 1981

Oil stick on paper

23 x 25 in / 58.4 x 63.5 cm (unframed)


Michael Andrew Page
Study for Curb-Stone Wall Sculpture 3 and 4, 2016
Colored Pencil and Ink on Graph Paper
31 x 42 cm

Michael Andrew Page
Study for Curb-Stone Wall Sculpture 5 and 6, 2016
Colored Pencil and Ink on Graph Paper
31 x 42 cm

Robert Bechtle

Potrero Golf Legacy, 2012

Oil on linen

41 x 59 in

Robert Olsen

No Title, 2007

Oil on panel

9 X 16 in / 22.85 x 40.65 cm

Jonathan Monk
Rew-Shay Hood Project XXV, 2008/09
Airbrush paint, Two 1974 Chevrolet Nova Hoods
Two hoods each: 55 x 51 x 3.5 in / 139.7 x 129.5 x 8.9 cm
Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York

Nate Lowman
Courtesy Professionalism Respect (white), 2010

Painted and welded steel

29.88 x 32 x 1.25 in. / 75.9 x 81.3 x 3.2 cm

Private Collection, New York

Nate Lowman

World of Interiors, 2014

Oil and alkyd on canvas

79 x 56 x 1.25 in

Sylvie Fleury

Skin Crime 6, 1997

Crashed car, enamel

31 x 39 x 141 in (80 x 135 x 359 cm) 

Richard Estes

Roman Street Scene, 2013

Oil on panel

8 x 6 in / 20.32 x 15.24 cm

 William Eggleston


Pigment print

30 x 24 in / 76.2 x 61 cm

William Eggleston

Untitled, 1974

Pigment print

30 x 24 in / 76.2 x 61 cm

Wim Delvoye
Untitled, 2007
Hand sarved tire
32.1 x 32.1 x 7.5 in / 81.5 x 81.5 x 19 cm

John Chamberlain
Once Again Watson, 2001
Painted metal
37 x 52.4 x 28.4 in / 94 x 133 x 72 cm

Daniel Arsham

Obsidian Eroded Shell Sign, 2014 

Obsidian, shattered glass, hydrostone 

29 1⁄2 x 27 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2 in 


Untitled, 1994

Red die cast toy Ferrari cars in an aluminum and wood compartmentalized frame.

 44.69 x 28.94 x 3.74 in / 113.5 x 73.5 x 9.5 cm

Unique and Original

Press Release

Leila Heller Gallery is proud to present Shrines to Speed: Art and the Automobile, From the Post-war to the Post-modern, co-curated by Alexander Heller and Vivian Brodie, from May 5th to July 16th, 2016.  From ideas of acceleration, to the iconography of the liberation, to the dream of the open road, the American death drive of the automotive pervades the visual economy and theoretical discourse for artists from William Eggleston to Andy Warhol, John Baldessari to Rob Pruitt, Dennis Hopper to Jonathan Monk—all to be included in this groundbreaking exhibition.  The sixty plus works of art by nearly forty artists, additionally reflect international artistic responses to an US dominated ideology of car culture—either in its specificity as an object or in its symbolic significance—from Swiss-born Sylvie Fleury to Belgium’s Wim Delvoye.


The automobile is a cypher of desire, but also destruction.  The ‘need for speed’ as it is often called, annunciates a call for the road results as much in lurid exhilaration as it does in utter devastation.  In Shrines to Speed this reality is evoked by Warhol’s image of twisted piles of metal and steel, set against William Eggleston’s diptych portraying 1970s pleasure seeking culture with a man and woman posed alluringly, proudly, next to cars which appear not as backdrops for the image, but co-presences, even extensions of the subject’s bodies themselves.  Sylvie Fleury’s pastel pink sculptural address of the tragic in the experience of the automobile presents the unlikely scenario of a car being literally cut in two, whilst Wim Delvoye offers the viewer a pristine objet d’art in the form of tires carefully carved with motifs from gothic chapel stained glass window designs from his native Belgium.  Richard Prince’s Untitled (Van Door 3), a sculptural presentation of a van door suggests undisclosed cargo, the occult, even kidnapping, while his print Untitled (Upstate) presents a similar dead end of celebratory car culture as a vehicle appears stranded, abandoned, left in a field to rot—no way forward.


Car culture however is inextricably linked to the idea of the west, heading west, and the California sunset. Shrines to Speed recognizes this ideological horizon with the important inclusion of Ed Ruscha’s rare publication Every Building on Sunset Strip from 1966 (with other copies held at the MOMA and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), one of a number of photobook works completed by the West Coast artist between 1962 and 1970, which virtually invented the notion of the artist’s book today and which represents a key conceptual engagement with the road and the car as a framing device for a diffuse, highway centered experience of landscape. Likewise, John Baldesssari, a conceptual artist and fellow denizen of Angeleno Americana, is featured in an homage to his home town in National City, in a suite of eight archival photographs, layered over by hand painted acrylic circles. Meanwhile, Robert Bechtle and Richard Estes present sedate, even domestic, comforting images of the plebian city streets. Also included in this exhibition is a never before exhibited painting by Richard Diebenkorn a major figure in Abstract Expressionism in the Bay Area. Painted in 1957, on the cusp of the revolution of the American landscape with advent Highway act, this painting demonstrates how Diebenkorn applied his characteristic saturated hues to the icon of the automobile.


This exhibition also includes a new work from the Bruce High Quality Foundation, which exploits the cultural importance of cinema to the mythos of car culture as the brightly hued bumper of a New York City taxi, equipped with a motion sensing device, which interrupts the viewers experience, delivering the soundtrack of the movie Taxi itself as the spectator approaches.

Finally, not only does Shrines to Speed present the Post-war, Conceptual, Pop, and Post-modern artistic approaches to the automobile, but the curators have also chosen to include a preface to their own endeavor—highlighting a select group of early twentieth century images which present a pre-history of conceptual approaches to the car in an era prior to the highway explosion of the later half of the twentieth century.  Though car culture in America had been on the rise since the Ford’s assembly line ethic made motorized transportation accessible to the American middle class in the first decade of the 20th century, it’s capture in early photography presents the high gloss fashionable allure of the works of photographer William Klein, against William Gedney’s images of struggle and socio-economic destitution in the style WPA documentary photographs. 


The experience of the automobile as both object and idea comes to frame multiple and divergent artistic inquiries on the car, the road, and a culture of ever-increasing acceleration, emergent from the work of multiple, renowned Post-war and contemporary artists.  Mining the cultural rise of car culture, the exhibition of paintings, works on paper, photography, and sculpture extends the discourse of the icon of modernity that is the automobile in both its aesthetic and cultural dimensions: in its seduction of escape and the open road, in its violence and potential for danger, in its unique engagement with landscape; and in its ultimate expression of an exalting and endless experience of speed, excitement, energy.



Ron Arad, Arman, Daniel Arsham, John Baldessari, Jean Michel Basquiat, Robert Bechtle, Bruce High Quality Foundation, John Chamberlain, Bruce Davidson. Wim Delvoye, Richard Diebenkorn, William Eggelston, Richard Estes, Nick Farhi, Louis Faurer, Sylvie Fleury, John Aaron Frank, William Gedney, Dennis Hopper, William Klein, Jeff Koons, Jacques Henri Latrigue, Arthur Leipzig, Nate Lowman, Jonathan Monk, Robert Olsen, Ruth Orkin, Kaz Oshiro, Michael Andrew Page, Raymond Pettibon, Jack Pierson, Richard Prince, Dana Powell, Rob Pruitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Blair Thurman, Robert Williams, Andy Warhol, Aaron Young



Please contact Brooke Lynn McGowan,