“Autofoto” Celebrates Our Love Affair with Cars

Photo: Luciano Rigolini, Tribute to Giorgio de Chirico, 2017. Appropriation (unknown photographer, 1958). Collection of the artist. © Luciano Rigolini.

Ever since the dawn of the automobile, people have had a love affair with riding around on four wheels. That romance has been captured across the past century in photographs made by artists who understood the power of the machine that put the freedom of the open road in the palm of our hands.

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Thirty years ago, Fondation Cartier, Paris, brought this work to the world stage with the exhibition Hommage à Ferrari. Now they return with Autofoto, a tribute to the automobile in photography. Currently on view through September 24, 2017, the exhibition features 500 works made by 100 historic and contemporary artists from around the world. In conjunction with the show, the Fondation presents a breathtaking catalogue of work with more than 700 images.

Autofoto combines two of the greatest forms of technology into a single show, revealing the powerful dynamic between the camera and the car. It’s all here, from action scenes to landscapes, street photography to images made inside production facilities.

The artists featured are an extraordinary list of innovators and masters in the field, including Crave faves Eve Arnold, Brassaï, Edward Burtynsky, Larry Clark, Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Mary Ellen Mark, Daido Moriyama, Malick Sidibé, Juergen Teller, and Weegee—as well as Jean Depara, Raymond Depardon, Lee Friedlander, Andreas Gursky, Seydou Keïta, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr, Ed Ruscha, and Dennis Stock.

The scale and scope of Autofoto will inspire, engage, and delight, as it provides a look at the ways in which photography can capture the sheer velocity of moving life. From the pleasing geometry of roadway design to reflections in the rearview mirror as we gaze at the world we leave behind, the exhibition offers a full spectrum of experience that leaves you spellbound.

Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.