MAK center overload

September 7, 2010

For the last month, I have been consumed with Austrian art museums, Rudolph Schindler and modern architecture for a story I was asked to write for Campus Circle. I ended up not only writing the 1500-word CC story, but also another installment of FBT about the state of modern architectural preservation in L.A. AND a profile of the MAK Center L.A.’s scholarship program for the Vienna’s daily newspaper Der Standard. Below are two out of the three.

MODERN BUILDINGS THRIVE IN L.A.

Daily Trojan | September 7, 2010

From the early days of film to the most reckless days of punk, Los Angeles has always been a hub for creative innovation.

Our historical distance from European thought and our physical distance from older cities like New York has allowed Los Angeles to be used as a petri dish for all kinds of experimentation. The lure of scholastic freedom in a location with a constantly evolving identity has brought artists from around the world to play in our sunny year-round laboratory.

Though the results are not presentable in movie theaters, concert venues or white-walled galleries, Southern California is nonetheless the birthplace of the most prolific artistic movements of the 20th century: architectural modernism.

It might be missing from an L.A. tour of the high-modern houses from prominent architects such as Richard Neutra, Ray Eames or John Lautner, but the house that first brought minimalism into the domestic realm is still standing behind an ivy-laden fence just south of West Hollywood’s bustling main street.

Rudolph Schindler’s private residence on Kings Road — constructed from 1921-1922 — is believed to be the first house built in the straightforward modern style. Soon after its construction, Los Angeles’ foothill communities became testing grounds for Schindler’s contemporaries and other forward-thinking architects who brought prominence to his approach.

…read the rest here

MAK CENTER RESIDENTS OFFER FINAL PROJECTS AT SCHINDLER HOUSE

Campus Circle | September 7, 2010

What do South Los Angeles gang members and a modernist Austrian fashion designer have in common? Probably not much unless you’re Felix Burrichter and Sarah Ortmeyer.

To the two European-born artists currently living as a residency team in one of Los Angeles’ most architecturally stunning apartment buildings, the link is simple – Rudolf Schindler. As part of a final exhibition project they must present at the end of their six-month stay in Los Angeles, the duo is creating a publication-scrapbook centered around Schindler, the pioneering Austrian architect of their current living space.

“You have a large Vienna-Los Angeles link with the Schindlers,” Burrichter says of Rudolf and his wife Pauline, “[and so] we are spinning tangents and stories from there on things we’ve picked up since we’ve been here.”

The connections Burrichter and Ortmeyer are making between the two urban cultural hubs is a natural extension of the residency program they are participating in, itself a testament to the longtime cultural exchange that has existed between the cities.

…read the rest here

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