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Peter Maier

Yikes Stripes, 2015

Axalta CROMAX Pro on fabricated aluminum panel
66 × 96 in
167.6 × 243.8 cm
location
New York, North Adams
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Peter Maier
American, b. 1945
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Peter Maier’s vast photorealist paintings of cars reflect his lifelong fascination with what he considers to be the strongest cultural icon of his time. A former employee of General Motors, Maier worked as a senior designer for Cadillac, Pontiac, and Chevrolet, and went on to pioneer the use of automotive paint in fine art. For example, 1959 Sting Ray (1996), which is scaled to the exact dimensions of its subject, acquired its shine and saturation of color through more than 20 coats of metallic silver paint. His process of applying layers of color and clear varnish “produces an illusion of depth, surface, and saturation not possible with traditional mediums,” Maier says. “Often my cars and motorcycles look like they are under glass.” While at Pratt Institute, Maier was chosen to assist “Junk artist” Robert Mallary on his famous sculpture Cliffhangers (1964). This led to meetings with Pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as with John Chamberlain, famous for his sculptures made from crushed car parts.

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Save
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Peter Maier
American, b. 1945
Follow

Peter Maier’s vast photorealist paintings of cars reflect his lifelong fascination with what he considers to be the strongest cultural icon of his time. A former employee of General Motors, Maier worked as a senior designer for Cadillac, Pontiac, and Chevrolet, and went on to pioneer the use of automotive paint in fine art. For example, 1959 Sting Ray (1996), which is scaled to the exact dimensions of its subject, acquired its shine and saturation of color through more than 20 coats of metallic silver paint. His process of applying layers of color and clear varnish “produces an illusion of depth, surface, and saturation not possible with traditional mediums,” Maier says. “Often my cars and motorcycles look like they are under glass.” While at Pratt Institute, Maier was chosen to assist “Junk artist” Robert Mallary on his famous sculpture Cliffhangers (1964). This led to meetings with Pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as with John Chamberlain, famous for his sculptures made from crushed car parts.

Peter Maier

Yikes Stripes, 2015

Axalta CROMAX Pro on fabricated aluminum panel
66 × 96 in
167.6 × 243.8 cm
location
New York, North Adams
Have a question? Read our FAQ.
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