Hubert Phipps - Revving Up the Art World Like Never Before
The nationally acclaimed artist Hubert Phipps and the luxury Italian coachbuilder ARES Modena will launch a new exhibition during Art Basel Miami to debut the first ARES Modena showroom in North America, in the Miami Design District. The exhibition Hubert Phipps: Ascending will be on view December 1 through January 31, and will usher in the arrival of the ARES S1 supercar model for its North American premiere during the run of the exhibition.
“We chose these bold sculptures and artworks by Hubert Phipps to debut our first U.S. showroom, and to surround the ARES S1 supercar model for its North American premiere, because when experienced together they create a powerful fusion that supercharges the imagination,” said Mo Elarishy, of ARES Miami. “The tradition of coachbuilding is a form of artmaking going back 100 years, hand-crafting limited production vehicles for discerning customers,” adds Elarishy. “The art of Hubert Phipps personifies the creative vision of ARES Modena’s coachbuilt vehicles, celebrated worldwide like commissioned works of art.” Watch the premiere video here of the ARES S1 supercar.
A sculptor and painter, Phipps was also a national racecar champion and is a pilot, coming up on his 50th anniversary as an aviator. The exhibition Hubert Phipps: Ascending features several works born out of the artist’s love for acceleration and for aerodynamic forms. “I am honored to have been invited by ARES Miami to present this collaboration during Art Basel Miami,” said Hubert Phipps. “ARES is one of the world’s leading studios of high-performance design and stellar engineering is igniting new inspirations in my artmaking.” The title of this show reflects the growing national recognition of the artist (as museums and collectors across the country acquire his works), with Phipps’ history with racecars and aircraft. In addition to the launch of the exhibition during the week of Art Basel, the artist and ARES Miami are planning events in January with some of Phipps’ world renowned racing colleagues from his time as a professional racecar driver.
The new ARES S1 supercar model was flown from Italy to Miami, and has never been shown in North America. The one-of-a-kind, automotive work of art will be the centerpiece for this exhibition, surrounded by sculptures and artworks by Phipps that are seen as a perfect fit with the creative aesthetic behind ARES Modena’s singular success in automotive design. Only 24 versions of the ARES S1 supercar will be created in the entire world, each tailor-made to the client’s desires and taste, making each design unique. The ARES S1’s dramatic low-profile is similar to racing prototypes from the 70s and 80s. Hand-crafted in carbon fiber, the curvaceous wheel arches, with sculptured side skirts and forward sitting cockpit, give a sleek yet aggressive stance. The S1 is powered by a naturally aspirated V8 delivering power to the wheels via an 8-speed dual clutch transmission. The interior combines the finest Alcantara and Napa leather that is quilted in specific areas.
The sculptures and artworks by Phipps in this exhibition rev up the space in the ARES Miami showroom, apace with the supercar’s electrifying spirit: Sky Temple, Voyager, Arch, Lava Flow, Africa 1, and Africa 2, plus a maquette-sized version of Rocket from the private collection of real estate magnate Lawrence Moens. The exhibition also features Phipps’ signature paint pigment drawings: Momentum, Current, Impulse, and Rhythm.
“Hubert Phipps’ racing background and his passion for automobiles shine through in the kinetic energy of his sculptures,” said Mo Elarishy, of ARES Miami. “The creative process of coachbuilding is a form of automotive craftsmanship similar to producing a sculpture. The designers at ARES blend lines and shapes with sleek proportions to create objects of desire that evolve into rolling masterpieces, and Hubert Phipps uses the same approaches when creating his sculptures. The CAD 3D technology that Phipps utilizes in his process, and his masterful techniques with materials, are cut from the same cloth as the modern-day coachmanship experience. This same artistic essence is central to the success of ARES in its approach,” adds Elarishy.
From 1979 to 1985, Phipps turned in solid performances in racecar driving, winning the SCCA Formula Atlantic National championship. He achieved wins in the Formula Atlantic Professional series at Willow Springs in 1984, and again in 1985. His professional teammates included Danny Sullivan at Garvin Brown Racing in 1982 and Michael Andretti at Ralt America in 1983. Phipps comes from a family that boasts generations of aviators. He acquired his pilot’s license at the age of 16 and has logged more than 4,000 hours of flying time (he often pilots his Airbus Helicopter H-120 down to Florida from his artist studio in Virginia). One of the most striking examples of his passion for motion and flight is Phipps’ monumental sculpture titled Rocket, which was recently selected for a major Art in Public Places program spearheaded by the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The 30-foot-tall sculpture is valued at $1.5 million, and is one of the largest outdoor sculptures in the history of public art initiatives in Palm Beach County.