Neutra, Gehry, Schindler, Eames — they're all included in the Getty's initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., starting this month and rolling into the summer. But this PST series is no checklist of well-known designers.
Even die-hard architecture wonks might be surprised to discover Peter Jon Pearce and his clear-plastic, bubble-clustered Curved Space Playground Structure (1975), which borrows its geometry from a diamond molecule blown up 8 billion times, or Machine Project's presentation of a dance troupe of very pregnant women in a domed Unitarian church in the Valley.
Modern Architecture in L.A., unlike last year's PST series, Art in L.A. 1945-1980, looks at the city outside of the museum box, in actual places we drive by, play in, sometimes look at but usually ignore each day.
The Getty's anchor exhibits, “Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990” (April 9-July 21) and “In Focus: Ed Ruscha” (April 9-Sept. 29), uncover less of the famous residential architecture of the region and more of its civic buildings, infrastructure and experiential aspects. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; getty.edu.
Over at SCI-Arc, Robert Mangurian and Craig Hodgetts' early work together is reconsidered, among others, in the group show “A Confederacy of Heretics,” profiled here. Mangurian and Hodgetts went on to influence countless students, at schools both here and across the country, with their playful spin on classical forms — a great example of which still stands at the former Gagosian gallery apartments in Venice. March 29-July 7; 960 E. Third St., dwntwn.; sciarc.edu.
“A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California” is sited, appropriately, in MOCA's Gehry-designed Geffen Contemporary Museum. The show features loads of yet-to-be-household name architects, such as Lorcan O'Herlihy, whose extensive work in L.A. includes the lime-green condos next to the Schindler house, on King's Road in West Hollywood, and the “Vertical house” with its skinny, multicolored windows, just north of Rose on Pacific Avenue in Venice. The show also features Frank Israel, whose colliding forms and bold sense of color made him a rising star in the early '90s before his life was cut short by complications of AIDS in 1996. June 2-Sept. 2; 152 N. Central Ave., dwntwn.; moca.org.
Machine Project's mini-series of tours and performances, “A Field Guide to L.A. Architecture,” utilizes an array of oh-so-L.A. means to examine the city's underappreciated spaces and places — like a Starline bus tour that it says is “guided by the spirit of Whitney Houston.” May 1-Aug. 15; machineproject.org.
The MAK Center hosts “Everything Loose Will Land” (derived from the Frank Lloyd Wright quote “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles”), presenting work by artists and architects who worked together to carve out new creative ground. It'll include works by Robert Smithson and Judy Chicago along with Pearce's bubble structure. May 9-Aug. 4; 835 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd.; makcenter.org.
The Center for Land Use Interpretation, on the other hand, gets down to the gritty reality of constructing L.A. with “On-Site Office Trailers: Invisible Architecture of the Urban Fabric,” an exhibition dedicated to that homely workhorse, the job-site trailer, which precedes and accommodates the construction of permanent buildings. May 17-June 16; 9331 Venice Blvd., Culver City; other locations to be announced for related construction site tours; clui.org.
Also notable: UCLA's related lecture series (“Extreme IDEAS: Architecture at the Intersection”), Stephen Prina's bright-pink installation loosely based on Rudolph Schindler's work at LACMA (“Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It,” April 7-Aug. 4), A. Quincy Jones' residential designs for middle-income L.A. families at the Hammer Museum (“A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living,” May 25-Sept. 8) and “Windshield Perspective” at A+D Architecture and Design Museum, exploring L.A.'s car culture (April 26-June 23). More information at pacificstandardtimepresents.org.