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Portfolio> LA's Radicals in Retrospect
SCI-Arc exhibition A Confederacy of Heretics explores work from Thom Mayne's Architecture Gallery in Venice.
Seven of the architects who participated in the Architecture Gallery, from left to right: Frederick Fisher, Robert Mangurian, Eric Owen Moss, Coy Howard, Craig Hodgetts, Thom Mayne, and Frank Gehry at Venice Beach, 1980.
Ave Pildas
Left to right: Twelve Houses at Cabo Bello, 1976, Roland Coate Jr.; South Side Settlement, 1975-80, Studio Works; Reidel Medical Building, 1976, Morphosis Architects.
Joshua White; Courtesy Studio Works; Courtesy Morphosis

In 1979, Thom Mayne opened a temporary gallery in his home, the first dedicated architecture gallery in the Los Angeles area. Each week, Mayne showcased young and established LA firms, garnering reviews by the Los Angeles Times architecture critic, John Dreyfuss. The gallery and its influence are the subject of a new exhibition at SCI-Arc, A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, which is part of the series of Pacific Standard Time exhibitions initiated by the Getty. The heretics turned out to be some of the leading architects of the 1980s to the present, including Mayne and his then-partner Michael Rotondi, Frank Gehry, Craig Hodgetts, Frederick Fisher, and Eric Owen Moss. While architects in the East and in Chicago were puzzling over the in-jokes of postmodern historicism, these West Coast radicals were redefining architectural form and practice in ways that remain bracingly contemporary. Curated by Todd Gannon with exhibition design by Andrew Zago, A Confederacy of Heretics is on view through July 7 at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles.

Alan G. Brake


Stamps, 1979, Morphosis Architects.
Courtesy Morphosis Architects
Left to right: Gehry Residence, 1978, Frank O. Gehry; Daniel Studio, 1980, Coy Howard; Five Condominiums, 1981, Eric Owen Moss.
Grant Mudford; Coy Howard; Tom Bonner