Andy Warhol’s final commission will be heading to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles later this week. Simply called “Cars,” it was initially commissioned by Mercedes-Benz to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the motor car.
Warhol worked on it in 1986 and 1987, but the commission was left unfinished at the time of his death in February 1987. The project was originally supposed to include 80 pictures intended to record the history of the motor car from its very beginning: the Benz Patent Motor Car and the Daimler Motor Coach. It was supposed to lead all the way up to the present day (which would have been 1987.)
Only 36 silk-screen paintings and 13 drawings representing eight different Mercedes-Benz models were completed before Warhol died.
“Much like his previous work involving the iconography of branded consumer products and celebrities, Warhol managed to bring together the image of the automobile, and more specifically the Mercedes-Benz brand, within the context of high art,” a statement from the Petersen reads.
According to Car Scoops, five of the eight vehicles Warhol depicted will be physically in the exhibit. Those cars include a 1937 Mercedes W125 and a 1970 C111-II – both on loan from the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
They are joined by a 1954 W196 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, the Formula 1 car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss that won two world championships, and Warhol’s personal 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. He owned this car despite never actually having a driver’s license. He reportedly was driven around by his pals Mick Jagger and Liza Minelli. Those are some good friends, right there.
The exhibit will be on display in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery and is included with a general admission ticket or membership.
It’s set to open this Saturday, July 23rd.