The Victoria and Albert Museum examines the history of the car and its role in the world in which we live. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…
The Observer: **** “This one does a good job of navigating the difficult territory between piston-engine porn and climate apocalypse. It doesn’t try to draw conclusions or give lectures – in which respect its retrospection makes its avoidance of contemporary controversy easier.”
The Times: “You don’t have to be Jeremy Clarkson to enjoy this. In some ways, it’s probably better that you’re not a one-eyed Top Gear fanboy at all, let alone presenter, given the nuanced approach this exhibition takes to one of the most important icons of the modern age.”
The Independent: “Car nuts will be delighted to see some familiar friends in this exhibition and learn a few new things too. A sceptical, even hostile visitor who just sees the car as a generic appliance to get from A to B in an environmentally unfriendly fashion, might also see our three- and four-wheeled friends in a different, more positive light.”
The Telegraph: **** “The show is a blend of aesthetics and history. There are 250 objects on display, and the best have the glamour of the interwar years. Seek out the sketches by Jeanne Paquin, for instance, of Twenties motoring couture, or the sleek glass “mascots” of falcons and greyhounds, designed to be lit from below.”
Evening Standard: *** “The show explores how car production transformed industry and consumerism, streamlining everything from hats to bacon slicers, remaking cities and even nations (Hitler’s autobahns) in the process. The effect on our environment is the least explored aspect of a show that essentially celebrates the car as a creative phenomenon.”
Time Out: **** “As you exit through a door styled as a puddle of oil, you are presented with a final, contemporary concept: the Audi Pop.Up Next. It’s driverless. It’s electric. It… wait for it… flies. The wheel has rotated back to the beginning of this compelling, conflicted relationship. This is a fascinating exhibition but it hasn’t changed my personal opinion: I like cars; I hate driving.”
Cars: Accelerating the Modern World is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum until the 19th April 2020.