Malcolm Lubliner: The Automotive Landscape

Malcolm Lubliner: The Automotive Landscape presents 25 photographs, some black and white as well as color, from the portfolio Cars.  Some viewers may recognize such exotic cars as the Rambler, Chalmers, Dino and Airflow, but most will remember their own experiences with the familiar Dodge, Chevy, Pontiac, Mercury, Lincoln or El Dorado, not to mention the ever popular VW vanThe earliest image in the portfolio was shot in 1968, and Lubliner has continued to add images to the portfolio as recently as 2011. 

In 1959, Lubliner bought a copy of Robert Frank’s iconic book of photographs, The Americans, and was captivated by one of the images, titled “Covered Car, Long Beach.”  It was a photograph of a then recent model Cadillac, covered with a parachute and parked between two palm trees.  That photograph became Lubliner’s muse, and over the ensuing years helped clarify his vision and expanded his hunt for images.  Lubliner says, “Cars in the landscape strike me as comical. They seem almost like alien creatures, mechanical clowns dressed in an array of costumes.  They have their own world and talk to each other in parking lots but never quite relate to the arena in which they perform or to the humans who inhabit them. Cars and we humans share a strained interdependence but I’m pretty sure cars are vain and enjoy being photographed.”

Lubliner received an MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.  He has exhibited extensively since the 1970s and is currently represented by the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica.  His work is held in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum of California, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, among others.