Art and bicycles

Art and bicycles

Throughout the years bicycles have featured as a subject matter in fine art. Perhaps due to their functional beauty and engineering, or maybe due to the fact they they are an iconic emblem of utilitarian self-powered transport so common amongst all countries and levels of society.

Ai wei wei

ai wei wei bicycles

 For his third solo exhibition with Lisson Gallery, Ai Weiwei has created a monumental new installation of bicycles as part of an ongoing series, ‘Forever’, as well as a number of hand-carved, domestic-scale copies – in various materials including wood, stainless steel and crystal – of some highly personal objects.

Gabriel Orozco

 The piece above is called “Four Bicycles” (There Is Always One Direction) was made when artist Gabriel Orozco was living in Rotterdam, a city which abounds bicycles. The bicycles are not welded together; they are not completely changed from their original use as a mode of transport.

Exploded view bicycle

Michael Paulus / Steven Bullock: exploded view bicycle wall mount michael paulus

Jacques Tati, by Robert Doisneau

Jacques Tati, by Robert Doisneau

marcel duchamp

Perhaps one of the most famous bicycle related pieces of artwork is “Bicycle Wheel”, a readymade from Marcel Duchamp consisting of a bicycle fork with front wheel mounted upside-down on a wooden stool. In 1913 at his Paris studio Duchamp mounted the bicycle wheel upside down onto a stool, spinning it occasionally just to watch it. 

Monalisa with bicycle 

 This piece above is a modern dupe on the Mona Lisa showing her standing next to a modern day Colnago racing bike. Apparently this image was found on a poster in a bicycle cafe in Singapore.

Berlin bike wall bike art

Bike shop co-owner Christian Peterson came up with the clever concept to mount the shop's entire inventory of 120 bicycles on the exterior wall of the store. Not only does it a brilliant advertising idea for the bike shop below but it also is a striking 3 dimensional street art piece that is so relatable to many cities around the world. 

Bicycle in futurist art

Umberto Boccioni, Dynamism of a Cyclist, 1913

Jean Metzinger, At the Velodrome, 1912. Oil on canvas

Jean Metzinger, At the Velodrome, 1912. 

Futurist artists and poets, who saw physical activity as an integral part of human life, aimed at transmitting vital and creative energies. In fact, the exponents of this movement were characterized by a continuous and restless motion. The aforementioned ideology and interest in the bicycle took shape in many masterpieces of the genre, such as, for example, Umberto Boccioni's Dynamism of a Cyclist (1913), Gerardo Dottori's Cyclist (1914), Mario Sironi's The Cyclist(1916) and Fortunato Depero's Cyclists (1922).

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