J Mays Exhibition Opens
November 04, 2002

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The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles will open an exhibition next month on J Mays, Ford Motor Company's vice president of global design. Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays is the first comprehensive museum exhibition devoted to the work of an American automobile designer.

Organized by MOCA Curator of Architecture and Design Brooke Hodge, the show will bring together concept cars, development models, video footage, new photography and original drawings that illustrate the process behind Mays' work. It will also include the public unveiling of Mays' most recent concept car, the Ma, which is conceived as a kit of parts to be assembled into a futuristic hot rod.

Hodge believes the term "retrofuturism" describes how Mays takes an iconic car from the past, which evokes strong feelings and cultural associations, and rethinks the vehicle for a contemporary market.

"Mays' incorporation of retrofuturism into his creative process has enabled him to draw from the past and design for the future, while remaining firmly grounded in the present," said Hodge. "This exhibition makes it possible to consider Mays-designed cars as design objects in their own right."

Since joining Ford in October 1997, Mays has completed the development of several new models including the 2002 Ford Thunderbird, Ford Forty-Nine concept car and Ford GT40, which all take their inspiration from classic models of the past. Mays previously worked for Volkswagen-Audi and BMW. His work prior to Ford includes the prototype for the new Volkswagen Beetle and the Audi AVUS.

The exhibition opens on November 17 and runs until March 9, 2003 at The Geffen Contemporary, 152 North Central Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.


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