A Porsche 928 art car painted by eminent German artist, Heinz Mack, will be auctioned at the Lempertz Contemporary Art sale in Cologne on May 30, 2015. Though classic Porsche 928 values are rising along with prices for all other older Porsche models, the likely value of this car is more closely linked to its artistic connections.
Heinz Mack and ZERO
Born in Lollar near Frankfurt in 1931, Heinz Mack attended the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts during the 1950s, also attaining a philosophy degree at the University of Cologne. In 1957, Mack started an art magazine ‘ZERO’, which ran for a decade and gave rise to the eponymous ZERO art movement.
ZERO held to the notion that art should be void of colour, emotion and individual expression. Founded by a trio of German artists including Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker, ZERO later encompassed a wider group of primarily European artists including the Swiss Jean Tinguely and Argentinian-born Italian, Lucio Fontana.
The central theme of Heinz Mack’s art is light. His ideas have been expressed through sculptures and pictures in a hugely diverse range of materials and locations. Often working in open spaces ‘untouched by the fingerprint of civilisation’, Mack’s most recent project, Nine Columns under Sky, was created on the beautiful Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in my favourite city of Venice. Nine seven-metre columns covered in more than 800,000 gold-plated mosaic tiles inspired by the Sahara Desert invite reflection upon this long-term epicentre of Mediterranean art.
Porsche 928 Art Car & Value
While Mack is reputedly a passionate collector of cars, his tastes lean more toward British machinery. Preferring Aston Martins and Jaguars, Mack was asked to paint the Porsche 928S by a friend in 1984.
The Porsche is a 1978 4.4-litre 928S manual with TUV approval to August 2015. The odometer reading shows unknown kilometres but the car is said to display signs of its age. Signed by the artist on both doors and taking some inspiration from period aero tests, the design is said to “accentuate the aerodynamic silhouette of the sports car with small triangles on both sides and a colour spectrum that morphs from white into black”.
Porsche Museum 928 provenance
Previously exhibited at the Porsche Museum, auction estimates for the car run from €40-€45k. Given current prices for standard Porsche 928s of similar vintage, this seems ridiculously low for a bona-fide art car.
The most recent large scale auction of ZERO artist output came at Sotheby’s in 2010, where a catalogue of of 49 paintings and drawings sold for more than four times the original auction estimates, to hit a total of more than £54 million.
Mindful of where the art market has soared to in the five years since, current interest in the unique early 928 and the parallels between classic Porsche and modern art collecting, I can see this car outperforming all expectations at auction. I am excited to see how it goes.