Auto Union's 90th Anniversary Celebrated With The Debut Of Etrick Art
Media Release: Etrick Art Debuts With Limited-Edition Auto Union Tribute
Etrick Art launched its first sculptures in the Reflects series with the limited-edition Auto Union Tribute design. The debut of these beguiling aluminum art pieces coincided with the 90th anniversary of the formation of Auto Union AG on June 29, 2022.
By The Editors
Wed, Jul 6, 2022 12:25 PM PST
Featured Image: Michael Etrick’s Reflects Series sculptures were created to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the formation of Auto Union AG. Image courtesy of Etrick Art.
By merging the resources of Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer in 1932, Auto Union was able to bring together highly talented and determined individuals to develop outstanding racecars. The historic nature of these racers, along with the bold designs, caught the attention of noted automotive design clay sculptor Michael Etrick. The formation of Etrick Art and his current artworks are a direct result of this preliminary encounter.
Michael was astonished that by the mid-1930s, those streamlined, grand prix powerhouses proved to be a high-water mark in performance, winning race after race. As Michael points out, "I was working at Audi, and I’ve seen all the classic race cars and models in person. If you’re going to start with Auto Union and the coolest thing the company did including Ferdinand Porsche’s involvement - the whole build-up of it, and if you are going to do an iconic vehicle related to Audi, the 1936 Auto Union Type C would be the one!".
The solid, polished aluminum Auto Union Tribute sculptures are organic forms inspired by the Type C racecars from a bygone era. Yet, being an auto enthusiast isn’t necessary to fully appreciate the Etrick Art pieces. Additionally, the mirror-finish of the material coupled with flowing forms cleverly reflect light, hence the name of this series—the Reflects series. The sculptures are currently available in two sizes, with the impressively larger piece weighing in at over 300-pounds.
The Etrick Art web site comes alive at https://etrickart.com. The site covers all aspects of the development process, history, products, images, and availability. Beyond the featured sculptures and prints, bespoke artwork can evidently be commissioned, as well.
Typically, the automotive design studios’ internal projects, along with those that stream outside their facilities, are indeed a team effort. However, this recent endeavor is personal. Michael combines his traditional clay modeling capabilities along with modern technologies, where the end result does not have a designed-by-committee look or feel. The initial sculptures in the Reflects series pose a hint of concept car-like vision while also being racecar relatable. Practicality and performance have a place in the real world, but those definitely take a backseat to refined, styling brilliance at Etrick Art.
The Art and Racing
In the world of racing, there are moments in time where one manufacturer and car clearly stand out from the pack. And similarly, in the world of art, occasionally one work shines brighter than all the rest. Michael emphasized, "I didn’t want to put anything out there that’s not exceptional, especially as this industry is loaded with talented people. It was cool from the beginning, and the final sculpture turned-out even cooler than I thought it would."
Michael, a professional American Automotive Design Sculptor, is continuing to expand upon his colorful and robust career in the automotive design and art world. The limited-edition Reflects series from Etrick Art are designed to be the centerpiece in any interior space.
"The look and feel of this sculpture turned out clean, smooth, with nice lines, beautiful highlights, and restrained - without a lot of detail – just pure beautiful forms. This has way exceeded my expectations," said Michael.
The Etrick Art sculptures for both the press and guests debuted at The CARLAB in Orange, California, overlapping with the 90th Anniversary of Auto Union. "Michael's a true artisan and known master of vehicle form. We're proud our studio was chosen to exhibit his very first solo work," stated Eric Noble, Professor of Vehicle Technology at ArtCenter College of Design, and The CARLAB Founder and President.
Being able to tap into decades of craftsmanship and creativity, and then turning that into fine art is an exceptional process and experience. This is the culmination and pinnacle of an entire career dedicated to design.
You can view the Reflects series and obtain acquisition information at etrickart.com.
About Etrick Art
Michael Etrick, an American Automotive Design Sculptor, has been primarily employed in the OEM’s design studios for the past three decades, both in the United States and Europe. His distinct skill set includes fabricating with metal, composites, and painting, yet it’s Michael’s extensive clay sculpting capabilities that are in greatest demand. Etrick Art, formed in 2022, explores sculpting outside of the practical requirements dictated by the car companies. The industrial design influence, leaning on years of experience and quality craftsmanship, creates fine art pieces that make a substantial and powerful impression. Michael, along with his colleagues, are forging unique, inspired designs. Focusing on very limited-edition projects will make each one an exotic experience for a fortunate few.
About Michael Etrick
Michael is actively engaged in developing concept and production models for the automotive design studios both in the United States and Europe, just as he has for the past three decades. An equal level of finesse is required on all parts - exterior or interior, seen or unseen. Michael has clay modeled on both major surface development, along with minor, as part of the team effort on a vast number of projects for a wide range of car companies.
Michael is frequently interacting, directly or indirectly, with design executives and significant car companies including Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Kia, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Porsche, and Volkswagen/Audi, as he has throughout his career. Michael’s skill set is broad, but he is a favored hire because of his extensive clay sculpting capabilities.
OEM projects involve concept cars, design proposals, and the final production models. Etrick has played a key role in numerous, notable designs. The Ford Forty-Nine (concept), Mitsubishi Eclipse (second generation), and the Mitsubishi 3000GT (second generation) are a few examples that showcase his talent. Michael’s efforts were an important part of the Audi A1, A5, A6, Q2 and Q5 development. One of his most recent projects to hit the road, and catch the eye of enthusiasts everywhere, is the electric Lucid Air.
About Auto Union
On June 29, 1932, four brands - Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer - joined together to survive the vast challenges encountered by the global depression. The four interlocking rings of the logo symbolized the merger creating Auto Union. Today, Audi’s logo proudly displays the same interlocking rings on its products, as a reminder of this heritage.