Art and the Automobile: Peter Stämpfli

James Kraus

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Ma Voiture, 1963. Oil on canvas. Simca 1300.

Since Auto Universum focuses on the 1960s, it is little wonder that we harbour a fondness for Pop Art, the leading movement of the decade. One Pop proponent was Swiss artist Peter Stämpfli who early in his career found inspiration in the automobile. 

After dabbling in Post-Impressionism, Peter was inspired to change direction after viewing exhibitions of Pop works by Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann. One of his earliest Pop-style pieces depicted the instrument panel of his newly-purchased Simca 1300.

Sticking with an automotive motif, he began to focus on exterior details.

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Rallye, 1964. Oil on canvas. 1964 Opel Kapitän.

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Stop, 1965. Oil on canvas. 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury.

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Le Mans, 1966. Oil on canvas. 1965 Pontiac Le Mans.

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Polara, 1966. Oil on canvas. 1966 Dodge Polara.

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Chevelle, 1968. Oil on canvas. 1966 Chevelle Super Sport 396.

By mid-decade, he turned his attention to wheels and tyres.

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Mustang, 1968. Oil on canvas. 1966 Ford Mustang.

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Caprice, 1968. Oil on canvas. 1966 Chevrolet Caprice.

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Corvair, 1968. Oil on canvas. 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza.

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SS 396 Nº 2, 1969. Oil on wood. 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396.

In 1969, his work began closely examined the tyre itself, exploring what would become his leitmotif.

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Standard, 1970. Oil on canvas.

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Zeus, 1980. Pastel on paper.

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Peter with Town & Country, 1969. Oil on canvas over three dimensional curved stretcher. Firestone Town & Country snow tyre tread-pattern.

 

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