In November 2019, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art will tell the captivating story of the Italian automotive design evolution. Alfa Romeo: The Race for Beauty will be the first ever exhibition in Russia to feature several iconic cars by the manufacturer — from retro models to contemporary topliners, as well as design concepts and rare archival materials
When it comes to automotive design, Italy has long since outraced any potential rivals. This country of triumphant beauty is home to not one but several luxury car brands, among which Alfa Romeo takes pride of place.
Every car bearing the heraldic emblem of the emerald green biscione viper epitomizes the five key elements of the authentic Alfa Romeo spirit: distinctly Italian design, cutting-edge engines, perfect weight distribution, state-of-the-art technical solutions, and an impressive weight/power ratio. It is, however, the design that propelled the brand to its cult status: each signature element, from the immediately recognizable shield-shaped front grille to the distinctive trilobo, became iconic in its own right, while many of Alfa Romeo’s innovative solutions have been replicated by big-name car designers.
Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art will give its guests a sneak peek at the mysterious goings-on inside the world’s leading car design studios — Design Center Alfa Romeo, Bertone and Italdesign. Alfa Romeo: The Race for Beauty will meticulously track Alfa Romeo’s historical progress, focusing on such important milestones as Giulietta SS, Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo, the Alfa Romeo 156 Superturismo racecar, Superturismo, Brera and 4С.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta which remained in production up until 1965 became an instant nationwide hit. Its success was due in equal part to outstanding technical performance of a sports car and the seminal futuristic design. The 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS (Sprint Speciale) to be shown at Erarta is a true aerodynamic legend. Boasting a low-slung streamlined bodywork and a powerful engine, the car can accelerate to 200 km/h. Back in its time, this sports model successfully competed with such market leaders as, for instance, Porsche 356.
The one of a kind Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo designed by Bertone studio is one of the most easily recognizable concept cars in the world. Much of its fame is due to the innovative wedge shape and scissor doors — the latter invented by designer Marcello Gandini specifically for this model and later repurposed for Lamborghini.
Also on show will be Alfa Romeo 156 Superturismo. The vehicle to be displayed at Erarta Museum will be exactly the one that was piloted by the distinguished Italian racer Fabrizio Giovanardi during his victorious appearance in the 2002 ETCC (European Touring Car Championship).
The celebrated brainchild of Italdesign studio — the Alfa Romeo Brera sports car, also to be featured in the St. Petersburg show — was created by Giorgetto Giugiaro, recognized as Car Designer of the Century, while Brera itself was voted European Car of the Year 2007 in Japan and received the Best Design Award 2006 by Autocar Magazine (UK). One of the world’s most beautiful automotive creations, it stands toe to toe with Bugatti Veyron also credited to Giugiaro.
The journey into the Italian car design history at Erarta will be complemented with the display of engines, large scale prototypes, photographs, concept designs and archival photo and video footage.
Alfa Romeo: The Race for Beauty continues Erarta Museum’s exhibition series dedicated to showcasing the hallmarks of the Italian industrial design. In 2017 — 2018, for the first time in Russia, Erarta staged the LAMBORGHINI: Design Legend show in a museum environment, while 2019 saw the remarkable Style Ducati project.