ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 5/30/2019

Join us for the launch of Phyllis Galembo's 'Mexico Masks Rituals' at Howl!

DATE 4/25/2019

Queer Poets of Color: Nepantla Anthology Anniversary Poetry Reading & Conversation at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/24/2019

Irrationality, emotion and domesticity in 'Home Futures: Living in Yesterday's Tomorrow'

DATE 4/23/2019

Congratulations Letter16 Press on Naomi Fry's wonderful 'New Yorker' review of 'Shtetl in the Sun'!

DATE 4/23/2019

Check out this book trailer for 'Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece!'

DATE 4/22/2019

'Neil Goldberg: Other People’s Prescriptions' launch at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/22/2019

Celebrate Earth Day with 'Sun Seekers: The Cure of California'

DATE 4/21/2019

Titian's celebration of Easter, from 'The Christian Year in Painting'

DATE 4/20/2019

In honor of Passover, 'Modern Mystic: The Art of Hyman Bloom'

DATE 4/19/2019

Celebrate the Bauhaus Centennial with Lars Müller's remarkable Bauhausbücher facsimile editions

DATE 4/18/2019

Conversation & Book Launch: Larry Bell on ‘The Los Angeles Tapes’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 4/18/2019

'Berenice Abbott: Portraits of Modernity' is new from Fundacíon Mapfre

DATE 4/17/2019

Matthew Wong's porous reality in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/16/2019

Alison Elizabeth Taylor creates estrangement between images and their vehicle in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/15/2019

The landscape itself inhabits Enrique Martínez Celaya as a ghost in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/14/2019

Lois Dodd, dimension, simultaneity and time in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/13/2019

Verne Dawson brings veiled erudition to 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/12/2019

'Corita Kent: International Signal Code Alphabet' screams to the heavens that freedom is vital

DATE 4/11/2019

Visit Artbook & Steidl at the LAABF 2019!

DATE 4/11/2019

Not for sissies. 'Alice Neel: Freedom' is NEW from David Zwirner Books

DATE 4/10/2019

Alex Roth and David Griffith to launch 'Please Make Sure Your Camper is Secure' at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/10/2019

Hello Texas — join us at the Dallas Art Fair 2019!

DATE 4/10/2019

What a wonderful illusion in 'Horst P. Horst'

DATE 4/9/2019

Panel Discussion and Book Signing for 'David Casavant Archive' at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/9/2019

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris opens at MFA Boston

DATE 4/8/2019

Revelations abound in 'Richard Neutra: The Story of the Berlin Houses 1920–1924'

DATE 4/7/2019

Nocturnal permissions in Jean-Vincent Simonet's 'In Bloom'

DATE 4/6/2019

Phyllis Galembo signing 'Mexico Masks Rituals' at AIPAD

DATE 4/5/2019

Karine Laval signing 'Poolscapes' at AIPAD

DATE 4/5/2019

Mona Kuhn signing 'She Disappeared into Complete Silence' at AIPAD

DATE 4/4/2019

Martha Wilson to sign 'The Two Halves of Martha Wilson's Brain' Friday at AIPAD

DATE 4/3/2019

Constructed reality in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 4/2/2019

In 'Anthropocene,' Edward Burtynsky meets the enemy and he is us

DATE 4/1/2019

For Easter: Saints & Sinners

DATE 4/1/2019

Order 'The Christian Year in Painting' in time for Easter

DATE 4/1/2019

April Showers bring May Flowers

DATE 3/29/2019

New Romantic Hernan Bas featured in 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 3/29/2019

Linda Weintraub to launch 'WHAT’S NEXT? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art' at Artbook at Hauser & Wirth Bookstore, Los Angeles

DATE 3/28/2019

Ruby Ray photographed punk and industrial culture in late '70s and early '80s San Francisco

DATE 3/28/2019

Landscape Painting Now book launch and panel discussion at the Whitney

DATE 3/27/2019

Join Artbook | D.A.P. for signings at AIPAD 2019!

DATE 3/27/2019

Harbingers of revolution in Picasso's Blue and Rose Periods

DATE 3/26/2019

Gorgeous 'Picasso: Blue and Rose Periods' celebrates the artist's earliest masterpieces

DATE 3/26/2019

Edward Burtynsky to speak and sign 'Anthropocene' at Indigo Bay Bloor, Toronto

DATE 3/26/2019

Thierry de Duve and Herman Parret on 'Aesthetics at Large' at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 3/25/2019

When Lee Friedlander pays tribute, it means something

DATE 3/25/2019

Ruby Ray to launch 'Kalifornia Kool' at City Lights

DATE 3/24/2019

Celebrating Tintoretto through the eyes of John Ruskin

DATE 3/23/2019

Exhibition of the decade 'Soul of a Nation' opens at The Broad

DATE 3/22/2019

Honoring Yoko Ono

DATE 3/21/2019

Productive agitation and passionate enthusiasm in 'Gio Ponti: Archi-Designer'


AT FIRST SIGHT

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/16/2013

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'


Below is Pritzker Prize-winning architect (and founder of both Morphosis Architects and SCI-Arc) Thom Mayne's Foreword to Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell's highly anticipated compendium of unbuilt visionary architectural plans for the city of Los Angeles, Never Built Los Angeles.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: LOS ANGELES
By Thom Mayne


The built environment of Los Angeles has always exhibited a split personality of presence and potential. Branded as a tabula rasa on an urban scale, L.A. is a heterogeneous city of immigrants governed by a dispersed, fluctuating center of authority. It has an open-ended culture that constantly emerges to overturn its own past and future. During the past 100 years, the city has cultivated an architectural practice parallel to this identity of flexibility and reinvention, in which designers have found themselves united by an understanding of innovation as an engine of transformation. Yet this conversation––which has evolved as Los Angeles itself has grown––is often out of sync, projecting to an international audience while remaining inaudible on a local level.

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
ABOVE: Morphosis's plan for LACMA, 2001.

Los Angeles’s relationship to its architecture is unique among major American metropolitan centers, characterized by a laissez-faire environment that has afforded incredible experimentation in the private sector. Commissions have largely come at the behest of a small group of idiosyncratic clients––quirky but not necessarily wealthy––who have supported provocative projects on a domestic scale. Public architecture, with a few exceptions, has been similarly dependent upon individual donors and their personal agendas rather than being generated out of the interconnected institutional framework that supports civic architecture in New York and other established American cities.

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
ABOVE: Morphosis's 101 Pedestrian Bridge, a connector between the Civic Center and the Los Angeles Plaza, over the 101 Freeway, 1998.

The radical practice that has grown here has seen four major iterations, but its origins are quintessentially L.A. in their eclecticism, launched from a dialogue between two native Austrians––Rudolph M. Schindler and Richard Neutra––in a foreign city. Modernist architect Adolph Loos had advised Schindler, then a student, to pursue work outside Vienna, which at the time was pervaded by a growing conservatism. In 1914, Schindler came to the United States to work with Frank Lloyd Wright, who brought him to Los Angeles to oversee construction on the Barnsdall House. Neutra and his wife, Dione, followed in 1923 and joined Schindler and his wife, Pauline, in the Kings Road House, which Schindler designed as an experiment in communal living. The mild climate and radicalized underground made Los Angeles an ideal laboratory for ideas that these architects transplanted from the intellectual avant-gardes in their home country. Both came with very European, modernist aspirations; and while these concepts were tolerated in residential construction, they proved too strange and too foreign to catch on in the public imagination of a still relatively provincial city. For instance, Neutra’s Lovell House (1927–29), with its unprecedented reconsideration of domestic space, predates Le Corbusier’s game-changing Villa Savoye (1928–31) yet remained relatively unsung and never led to bigger public commissions.

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
ABOVE: Proposal by the Central Development Association for Los Angeles's Union Station, 1918.

With the launch of John Entenza’s Case Study House program in 1945, architects started to expand the residential-scale experiments of a few iconoclastic individuals into a coherent program aimed at transforming the realities of everyday living. Supported by a revamped magazine, Arts & Architecture, a current was developing in Los Angeles that linked the city with the broader modernist project, despite the lag in civic support.

By the 1960s, young architects of my generation perceived an exhaustion of the problems of modernism and challenged the reductionist agenda through new questions advancing complexity and hybridization. With the founding of UCLA’s architecture program in 1968 and SCI-Arc in 1972, the architectural discourse in Los Angeles experienced an enormous acceleration, corresponding with the city’s growth from a provincial town into a major metropolis of international influence. As the city still lacked an ongoing public dialogue about architecture and urbanism, schools now became the main forum for exchanging ideas, facilitating a powerful conceptual camaraderie that allowed up-and- comers to break from their intellectual predecessors in a major way.

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
ABOVE: Richard Neutra's proposal for a Museum of Contemporary Art, Westwood, 1936.

As possibilities shifted in the nineties with the advance of digital work environments, Los Angeles continued to play host to vanguard ideas, with a new wave of designers exploring nonlinear progressions in form and knowledge through more fluid approaches to site and context. On the international stage, Los Angeles gained a reputation as an inexhaustible source of breakthroughs in design and urban planning. As an architectural culture, our identity was evolving; we were no longer mere experimenters on a domestic scale but now major exporters of creative capital. And, continuing the tradition of important ideas being implemented outside the local public arena, architectural practice in Los Angeles expanded to large-scale civic work, though not in our own backyard.

People love to portray the freedom of L.A.’s pluralism as a strength; in reality, it goes hand in hand with the city’s distinct failure to collectively embrace communal projects. That pluralism, combined with the lack of an ordering center, has prevented the cohesion necessary for rigorous architecture to take root in the civic sphere. Instead, the huge amount of talent in this city is being put to use on architectural projects globally and, except in rare instances, has played little role in shaping our public environment.

Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
ABOVE: Fred Lyman's vision of a Malibu Monorail.

The real missed opportunity of Los Angeles, then, lies in the loss or displacement of intellectual creative capital that has occurred as our architects move on to other cities, other countries, other opportunities. The treasure trove of innovation contained in this book attests to a history of latent, untapped potential, yet the message of these unrealized projects is one of not only regret but also optimism. In considering Never Built Los Angeles, we see that our city clearly still holds its original promise––that there remains unfinished space here to transform and build.
Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'
Thom Mayne on 'Never Built Los Angeles'

Never Built Los Angeles

Never Built Los Angeles

METROPOLIS BOOKS
Hbk, 11.5 x 8.5 in. / 376 pgs / 200 color / 200 b&w.



DATE 8/23/2015

Xanti Schawinsky

Xanti Schawinsky

DATE 7/31/2015

Axel Hoedt

Axel Hoedt

DATE 9/11/2014

New York Is ...

New York Is ...

DATE 5/13/2014

Libuse Niklová

Libuse Niklová


ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com