The nationally acclaimed artist Hubert Phipps and the luxury Italian coachbuilder ARES Modena launched 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.
About the Coachmanship Tradition
The history of coachbuilding goes back to the early 1900s mainly in Europe and the UK, with a few U.S, coachbuilders in the 1920s. The golden age of coachbuilding was in the 1930s, a period that witnessed the creation of the most extravagant cars. Later, in the 1960s, Italy became the main center for the most reputable coachbuilders. Automotive artisans created and hand-built cars for affluent car collectors, connoisseurs, and automobile manufacturers. The designers, engineers and craftsmen combined artistry, passion, creativity, and technology to produce rare collectible automobiles. Coachbuilders were setting the new trends in design and style that would influence the most desirable motorcars that are currently winning awards on the leading Concours d’Elegance. Many one-off coachbuilt motorcars remain priceless today, and are admired by their owners in their private collections as works of art. While the vision of ARES Modena is focused squarely on the future of the luxury automotive industry, its roots are planted in the past and the grand tradition of Italian coachbuilding. It is an art form synonymous with craftsmanship and outstanding manufacturing, with each product made to order and by hand. Headquartered in the European supercar community of Modena, Italy ─ home to the legendary Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Pagani. ARES uses advanced technologies to offer the highest level of individualization, as the designers, engineers, and craftsmen bring dream cars to life. Advanced computer CAD systems, 3D scanning, and 3D printing are currently utilized, as coachbuilding enters a new era with unlimited possibilities. Located at 151 NE 41 Street, the ARES Miami showroom was designed by the ARES Centro Stile department, which drew its inspiration from the clean-cut lines of the modern day art gallery.
About the Artist
Hubert Phipps (born November 1, 1957) is an American sculptor and painter who divides his time between Middleburg, Virginia, New York City and Palm Beach. Phipps draws on his racing and aviation experiences to develop a distinctive style. Known for his paint pigment drawings and abstract sculptures, Phipps experiments with various forms and materials, including steel, bronze, wood, composites, plaster, glass, and marble. He was also a race car driver and is a member of the Phipps family. His works are featured in the permanent collections of museums, institutions and private collectors, including: Tufts University Art Galleries (MA); Boca Raton Museum of Art (FL); Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (CO); Harn Museum of Art (FL); Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA); Coral Springs Museum of Art (FL); and the Flint Institute of Arts (MI) which recently selected Paradise, the monumental bronze sculpture by Phipps, where the 1.5 ton, 9-foot-tall work is currently on view. His work has been exhibited at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, the New York Studio School, TW Fine Art, the Center for Creative Education in West Palm Beach, Fritz Gallery, MM Fine Arts Gallery in Southampton, Coral Springs Museum of Art, and Gallery 1608 in West Palm Beach. Phipps’ monumental sculpture “Rocket” was recently selected for an art in public places initiative in Palm Beach County, spearheaded by the Boca Raton Museum of Art. “Rocket” is valued at $1.5 million, stands 30-feet tall, weighs 9.8 tons, and took more than 2,200 square feet of stainless steel to construct. The sculpture towers alongside a waterfront panorama of iconic architecture designed by Marcel Breuer in the 1960s, at Boca Raton Innovation Campus, the historic tech landmark where the world’s first personal computer and the first smartphone were invented.
Phipps has many approaches to drawing, including reference photos that he makes on long, cross-country flights and automatic drawing. He lets his subconscious guide the pen or brush until the work takes on a life of its own. A significant influence on Phipps’ work comes from the view he gets while piloting his aircraft. He amasses photographic images on these trips that are used as reference for sculpture, paintings, and drawings.
Born in Virginia to Lady Phoebe Pleydell-Bouverie and Hubert Beaumont Phipps, Phipps started drawing at an early age. He developed skills as an illustrator, initially transcribing political cartoons. He attended Deerfield Academy. At Deerfield, Phipps discovered a passion for flying, something that he would continue throughout life. Since the age of 16, he has logged more than 4,000 hours as a pilot-in-command in both rotorcraft and fixed wing. He is the cousin of sculptor Susan Phipps Cochran. He was part of the Art Students League of New York at the age of 17, and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute before pursuing a career as a professional race car driver.
From 1979 to 1985, Phipps turned in solid performances in racecar driving, including winning the SCCA Formula Atlantic National championship, driving a Ralt RT4 powered by Ford. He achieved wins in the Formula Atlantic Professional series at Willow Springs, California 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. After retiring as a professional driver, Phipps turned his focus to art again. In 2001, he enrolled in IFAC in Miami to study computer animation, with additional training at Escape Studios in London. Phipps’ interest in animation was specifically to learn how to model forms in the computer as reference for sculpting objects, using traditional media. In 2002, Phipps participated in Graham Nixon’s drawing marathon at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, and this opened his ability to work in large-scale.