The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit was a bridge of sorts. It changed the way many non-motorcycle people looked at motorcycles. When it opened in NYC at the Museum of Modern Art under a storm of controversy and immediatly became the best attended exhibit in MOMA history it earned the privledge of going on the road. This one, the Las Vegas exhibit, was the only one showcased in a facility built to hold it. Frank Gehry
designed the exibition, Rem Koolhaas designed the 63,000 square foot museum. I'll let the LA Times art critic take it from here: "A spectacular phantasmagoria of stainless steel plates, translucent glass, steel mesh and strobe lights, it encapsulates all you need to know about a motorcycle's modern meaning. Gehry uses his machine materials to fracture, reflect and diffuse light, creating sexy, highly organic, frankly theatrical forms, from billowing clouds and monumental floral blossoms to great curtain swags. Glamour and erotic thrill summarize the motorcycle aesthetic."
Art Critic, Los Angeles Times
Photos and captions by Vicki Smith, Sept 2001
What made this show special was the attention to detail of the installation. This Debi 50cc GP racer was suspended on a huge waterfall of cascading sheetmetal. It;'s impossible to catch the scale of it - in 2001 I was just learning to use a camera (this is one of my first "galleries") and my camera was just a small digital.
Dennis Hopper, Lauren Bacall and Jeremy Irons rode BMW's in to promote BMW's sponsorship of the exhibit. Hopper is a noted art collector with a gallery of his own in LA. His precense was a perfect fit