ARBIB, Richard (1917-1995)
Front grill concept design
1953. Watercolour and pastel on composition board. Signed, "Arbib '53" Image size (including text): 17 x 23 1/4 inches. Framed. 25 1/4 x 31 1/4 inches.
A striking frontal encounter with an innovative grill design
This full-on, confrontational drawing of a new front grill by RIchard Arbib embodies the thrill of innovation that played such a large part of car design in the 1950's. During this rather euphoric period, cars became more open, colourful and "modernistic": curvilinear and sleek. In Arbib's picture, we come right up against a shield-like center piece that branches out to either side in a no nonsense, two level bumper and that threatens to knock us down, despite the genial, middle-aged driver. Elements of this front configuration appeared in many incarnations in subsequent years.
Richard Arbib was a tireless industrial designer whose work ranged from watches to yachts, and included many lasting automotive innovations. Born in Gloversville, New York of Egyptian parentage, he attended Pratt. He worked on GM's exhibition at the 1939 World's Fair, and then various automotive, industrial and military designers (during the war) until he set up his own firm in New York in 1949. His work during the 1950's was especially important to the future as many of his dynamic and "space-age" designs were incorporated into production models of the late 50's, 60's and 70's. He also supplied illustrations to science fiction magazines and novels.
Scharf, Richard H. Arbib 1917-1995 Visionary American Designer . 2006.