Posts tagged with "MAK Center":

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Rudolph Schindler’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House is now a luxury clothing showroom

The historic Rudolph Schindler-designed Fitzpatrick-Leland House in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles has been converted into a preview and fitting location for the “luxury essentials” clothing brand Co. T Magazine reports that the recent change in use for the MAK Center-owned and operated home came about after the owners of the clothing brand initially inquired about using the hillside complex for a photo shoot.   Eventually, a deal was worked out by the MAK Center and Co, and the center has been working hand-in-hand with the company to continue restoration efforts for the property started last fall, according to Priscilla Fraser, director of the MAK Center. In an email, Fraser explained that MAK considers Co as its current designers in residence, while adding that the installation is “a temporary arrangement while we go through the city process of altering the house’s use from residential to 'public benefit' so we can officially run it as a small museum.” The home, which was marketed as a potential AirBnB site a few years ago, has also been outfitted for its new use with abstract artworks on loan from L.A.’s Maccarone Gallery by artists Rosy Keyser and Marco Perego.  Images accompanying the T article also showcased International Style furniture pieces on loan from L.A. dealer Joel Chen, a custom teak folding screen commissioned for the store, and a new kitchen table designed by Jed Lind, formerly of Commune Design. With the arrangement, Co, a clothing brand known for contemporary riffs on classic luxury designs, will occupy one of L.A.’s most quintessentially modernist homes. The L-shaped building was designed in 1936 and features a complex arrangement of interlocking interior and indoor-outdoor spaces, including terraces that overlook a swimming pool. The stucco house also features Schindler’s characteristic thickened, abstracted floor plates as well as floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a series of walkways that project into the surrounding eucalyptus tree canopy.  The Fitzpatrick-Leland House was previously used as a base for the MAK Center’s Urban Future Initiative, a fellowship program supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State with a $410,000 grant benefitting international cultural thinkers, according to the MAK website.  Given the multifaceted history of the house and the outside-the-box approach Fraser has taken with MAK’s properties since being appointed in 2016, it will likely not be the last new use envisioned for the historic home. For images from Co’s photoshoot at the home, see The New York Times website.
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SOM’s Engineering + Art + Architecture exhibition opens at the MAK Center in L.A. this weekend

The widely-traveled exhibition titled Poetic Structure: Art + Engineering + Architecture showcasing the engineering and design legacy of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) will be on display at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles starting this weekend. The sprawling exhibition will bring a large 12-foot-by-27-foot pavilion to the grounds of the Schindler House, presenting a doubly curved kinematic structure stiffened with wood panels and metal hinges is inspired by the mathematical relationships between force and motion. The hovering pavilion is suspended by aluminum trusses and is braced with steel wires, an arrangement that can yield variously-sized configurations for the traveling show. The pavilion will also house more than 30 structural models of SOM’s grandest works. The models—built at 1-to-500 scale—compare the various structural approaches taken for projects like the John Hancock Center in Chicago and the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai in an effort to demonstrate the similarities that exist between artistic and technical designs, and how SOM “embraces and integrates engineering into works of public art.” The exhibition will also feature a mosaic collage of hand-drawn sketches from SOM’s leadership team showcasing the firm’s ever-evolving design process. Included too will be an art installation and digital projections presenting visuals and work from globally-acclaimed artists and architects who have partnered with SOM to design large-scale public installations, according to a press release for the exhibition. Works represented include Janet Echelman’s Dream Catcher, James Carpenter’s Hope Tower, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Weatherfield, Jaume Plensa’s World Voices, and additional work by Pablo Picasso and Peter Zumthor. The exhibition will be supplemented by public programs, including panel discussions and off-site educational events. Poetic Structure is scheduled to run through September 2, 2018.
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MAK Center hosts exhibit on how materials lose their roots in an age of globalization

The MAK Center in Los Angeles will be showcasing the multi-locational exhibition Wasser by Berlin-based artist Mandla Reuter this spring.

The exhibition’s components will be on view simultaneously at the MAK Center’s Kings Road House and Fitzpatrick-Leland House in Los Angeles, and aboard a container ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. A large marble block quarried on the island of Thasos, Greece, will move across the sea in the shipping container en route to the Port of Los Angeles. Parallel installations will take place at the two other sites: The Kings Road House will play host to a “sparse” installation meant to complement the block’s journey while the Fitzpatrick-Leland House—where Reuter, currently an artist-in-residence, has collected several other artists and their works—will be acting as a living museum-studio.

In all, Wasser is meant to reflect “on the perpetual movement of sited materials and delocalized resources across the world,” according to a statement. Wasser’s ephemeral, multi-locus nature is also meant as a commentary on globalization and the so-called Anthropocene, “an age where entire continents are no longer geologically shaped by nature but altered exclusively for reasons of trade and politics, until no part of the world remains unaffected by mankind.”

Mandla Reuter: Wasser The MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, California Through June 4, 2017

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Priscilla Lovat Fraser to be new director of MAK Center in Los Angeles

Vienna-based MAK has named Priscilla Lovat Fraser as the new director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, its Los Angeles—based satellite location. Fraser was chosen after a lengthy selection process following the departure of long-time MAK director Kimberli Meyer, who stepped down earlier this year to become the director of the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach. Fraser was most recently senior architect and project manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she provided exhibition design for Chris Burden’s Metropolis II installation and the exhibition James Turrell: A Retrospective. Fraser has also been instrumental in shepherding Peter Zumthor’s controversial expansion proposal for the museum. That proposal requires the demolition of the existing William Pereira-designed LACMA building in lieu of a wholly new building by Zumthor consisting of a continuous gallery uplifted on a series of piers. Fraser has also served as the director of exhibitions and publications at Steven Holl Architects and worked under Barry Bergdoll in the Architecture Department of the Museum of Modern Art. In a press release announcing Fraser’s selection, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, the artistic director of MAK, described the selection of Priscilla Fraser as an "exciting dual opportunity for a successful non-profit arts organization to both build on its legacy and reimagine its future. We have no doubt that Priscilla will embrace the mission of the MAK Center and expand it ambitiously." Fraser will take up her post at the MAK Center’s Schindler House headquarters starting January 2, 2017.
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“House Housing” exhibit miserably fails at addressing Los Angeles’s housing crisis

Billed as part of an ongoing, multiyear, multivenue, and multiauthor “19 episode” blockbuster research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate landed in L.A., a city facing an unprecedented housing shortage and a parallel homelessness crisis, with an unfortunate but predictable thud.

An impenetrable and arcane little book, The Art of Inequality, along with a well-organized and intelligent panel discussion, accompanied House Housing’s Los Angeles’s appearance. The panel was moderated by the Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, and included a witty, knowledgeable, and acerbic group: L.A. architect Julie Eizenberg, and San Diego–based academics Juliana Maxim and Andrew Wiese. The panel, as it turned out, was better than the show and the book combined because it was focused, relevant, and brief. If there is one broad criticism I might offer here it is this: The never-ending parade of traveling shows, publications, events, social media feeds, and inscrutable websites that now stand in for academic research and dedicated curatorial work has tanked.

And sadly, this effort seems to highlight the entire dilemma. What started in the mid-to-late ’90s with the Harvard “Project on the City” and the Architectural Association of London’s Design Research Laboratory as an attempt to realign architecture with reality, has now descended into a farce where loosely appropriated data and reality samples are presented as research—and petulant attacks on practitioners as political action. Forced to absorb a series of half-baked guest essays, useless charts, graphs, meanly redrawn housing unit plans (what a waste of some poor grad student’s time), and attacks on well-known octogenarian architects, the audience must somehow surmise that this is meaningful academic work. How dumb do the curators think the audience, professional or otherwise, really is? Is there an even an audience for this sort of work? Do the authors care if no one shows up?

Despite its appropriate setting, House Housing perfectly illustrates all that is wrong with these sort of airless engagements with the realpolitik of contemporary city-making by architects today. If the aim of the exhibition was to invite “scholars and practitioners to discuss how we might reframe our understanding of the relationships among architecture, housing, and real estate in light of the inequalities they both produce and reflect,” the net effect is a misreading of the jujitsu-hold many practitioners find themselves in as they attempt to negotiate the market forces that have been at work reformatting our cities since at least the dawn of the Reagan-Thatcher era. House Housing parades out real-estate and architectural-atrocity exhibits, “from architect-designed houses to prefabricated apartment blocks to suburban gated communities,” presented less as a coherent analysis of the tragedy of housing inequality than as some sort of evidence of the intrepid academic’s adventures in the “real city” wherein the desire, ambition, and greed of the inevitably evil developer class squash the dreams of the proletariat. Architecture, predictably, plays the role of the villain’s guileless and dim-witted sidekick. Architects are caricatured as willing handmaidens to the construction of socioeconomic injustice. “More than just a building type or a market sector,” the editors argue, “housing is a primary architectural act—where architecture is understood as that which makes real estate real.”

An easy target like Frank Gehry ends up demonized for being part of market-rate development in New York and the author of an oddball suburban house renovation, while Bernard Tschumi, formerly a radical leftist and current dean emeritus at the Columbia GSAPP, gets no censure for the Blue Condominium housing tower on the Lower East Side—average sale price, $1.5 million as recently noted by Alex Cocotas in the JacobinOne wonders, here, if the author-editors are even aware of their own biases.

It has to be stated that the entire effort is also very condescending. Once again we are offered that late-20th-century academic cliché, Institutional Critique, as an innovative model of cultural production. Instead of a more genuine or provocative proposal for redefining the role of architecture in city-making we are served up, yet again, the now-zombified Standard Marxist Critique of State Capitalism. As neoliberalism accelerates the transfer of urban control from a near-dead public sector to the hyper-advanced private sector, the best the authors can suggest is that if “architecture is imagined first and foremost as an investment…thinking and making it otherwise remains a fundamental, unmet challenge for our times.” The political ambivalence of this statement reveals that the very academic tools used to draw attention to social inequality and architecture’s role in its production fall far short of the potentially radical and ferocious work that will need to be done by architects on their discipline and the professional organizations, academies, museums, and research bodies that support them in order to change the situation. Nothing less than total outrage and focused action will address the social violence of radicalized poverty and its caustic effects on the 21st-century city. 

What is required now of architecture, especially academic architecture, is not another retreading of the usual antagonisms. Resipsa loquitur: The boring and never-ending Facebook-adjacent arguments around this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale are primarily about mindless parametricist fundamentalism versus patronizing do-gooder fundamentalism. Who cares? Only the difficulty of real adversarial engagement, not fantasy critiques launched from the ivory tower at the profession, will further the conversation. Architecture will not advance one step as either a symbol of the one percent or as a tool of the other 99 percent; it must adapt and grow beyond its currently servile relationships with capital and/or community. What is required is nothing less than a wholesale attack on the discipline’s stagnating orthodoxies, left and right.

House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate ran from April 9 – May 8, 2016 at the MAK Center at the Schindler House.

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Kimberli Meyer leaves MAK Center for Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach

Kimberli Meyer, the long-time director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in Los Angeles, is stepping down after 14 years at its helm. She will become Director of the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach. Regarding her pivot to a public art institution, Meyer recently told the Los Angeles Times, “state university museums are going to become more and more important as the art world becomes more infected by money, and our society becomes highly influenced by corporate power and concentrated wealth. The university museums play an important role as an independent, academic space that really can dig into issues and encourage critical thinking in ways that private museums cannot.” Meyer’s tenure has involved expanding the collections and breadth of programming at the MAK Center. In 2007, the Center acquired the Rudolph M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House and embarked on an expansion of the MAK-owned garages at Schindler’s 1939 Mackey Apartments, with designs by L.A.-based architecture firm Space International. Meyer’s 2010 show, co-curated with Lisa Henry, Nizan Shaked, and Gloria Sutton, How Many Billboards? Art In Stead, consisted of a public art project that replaced the graphics on some of L.A.’s ubiquitous billboards with 21 newly commissioned works by leading contemporary artists. In a city largely defined by the single family home, and for an art and architecture center housed within the private home of a renowned architect, it is perhaps no coincidence that much of MAK Center’s programming under Meyer revolved around issues of shelter, modernization, and domestic life. In 2011, for example, Meyer co-curated Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design with Susan Morgan as part of the Pacific Standard Time art initiative. She also put on a Graham Foundation-funded exhibition titled Hyper House and Home, an exploration of “personal-home-making” and the “political potential of do-it-yourself design.” In 2014, Meyer and Japanese architect Hitoshi Abe curated Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, an exhibition of architectural projects that rethought domestic and urban spaces in the face of global climate and social change. More recently, MAK showcased the traveling House Housing exhibition by Temple Buell Center at Columbia University that chronicles the commodification of domestic space.
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Eavesdrop> An Austrian Staycation

All summer the Los Bar—built by MAK Center residents Andreas Bauer, Christoph Meier, Robert Schwarz, and Lukas Stopczynski—gave those without airline travel points a taste of Vienna. Constructed in a garage of R.M. Schindler’s Mackey Apartments, the saloon mimics Adolf Loos’ American Bar, swapping out onyx and marble for painted MDF and cardboard. Police shut down the blind pig due to neighbor complaints, but we’re hoping all is not lost for Los/Loos. AN may volunteer the LA HQ for a Loos weekend.
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On View> Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, California Through January 4, 2015 The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 devastated the island nation, setting off a tsunami that destroyed over 300 miles of coastline, causing the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and leaving more than 20,000 people dead and 470,000 without homes. The severe damage from the catastrophe propelled architects to take action, swiftly and creatively, as illustrated in a new exhibit, Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Faced with the slow moving bureaucracy of the government response, a number of architects—including Manabu Chiba, Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (of Atelier Bow-Wow), Senhiko Nakata, Osamu Tsukhashi, and Riken Yamamoto—decided to take matters into their own hands and work with local communities to rebuild, using a myriad of design solutions. Through this grassroots movement, the show explores how architects can jumpstart and participate in recovery efforts following a natural disaster.
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Tonight> MAK Center’s Dialogues Series Concludes With Impressive Exhibition

Dialogues, the series of conversations between architects and artists that took place at the MAK Center in Los Angeles over the last couple of months, is finishing up tonight with an exhibit of the designers' work. The show features drawings, images, and models from a serious lineup at For Your Art on Wilshire Boulevard. Contributors include: Doug Aitken, Barbara Bestor, Escher Gunewardena, Fritz Haeg, Jorge Pardo, Linda Taalman, Xavier Veilhan, Pae White, Peter Zellner, and many many more. The show will be up until April 16.  
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EVENT> Exploring The Connection Between Paris and Los Angeles

Starting Wednesday, January 30, LA's MAK Center and arts promoter ForYourArt will begin hosting Dialogues: Art/Architecture, Paris/Los Angeles, a series of events bringing together architects and artists from those two cities. Events include four discussions at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, an exhibition of drawings and models at ForYourArt in Miracle Mile, and the launch of a  publication compiling participants' work and discussion. In addition to AN West Coast editor Sam Lubell, participants include (take a deep breath): Doug Aitken, Berdaguer/Pejus, Barbara Bestor, Claude Collins-Stracensky, Dahlqvist/Hommert, Escher/Gunewardena, Didier Faustino, Yona Friedman, Cyprien Gaillard, Fritz Haeg, Piero Golia, Ibai Hernandorena, Marie Jager, Alice Konitz, Vincent Lamouroux, Won Ju Lim, Tom Marble, Jorge Pardo, Claude Parent, Francois Perrin, Ivette Soler, Linda Taalman, Oscar Tuazon, Xavier Veilhan, Eric Wesley, Pae White and Peter Zellner. The impressive program is part of  part of “Ceci n’est pas…Art between France and Los Angeles," a five month art and cultural exchange put together by the French Embassy of the United States, the French Institute, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. See the full schedule and a slideshow of participants' work below: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 30, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Program launch reception and panel discussion with Fritz Haeg, Marie Jager, Alice Konitz, Ivette Soler, and Oscar Tuazon, moderated by Jan Tumlir. WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Panel discussion with Joakim Dahlqvist, Didier Faustino, Jens Hommert, Piero Golia, Jorge Pardo, Linda Taalman, and Peter Zellner, moderated by Sam Lubell. WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 2013, 6-8 PM, SCHINDLER HOUSE Panel discussion with Frank Escher, Won Ju Lim, Tom Marble, Xavier Veilhan, and Pae White, moderated by Danielle Rago. TUESDAY APRIL 2, 2013, 6-8 PM, FORYOURART Opening reception of drawings and models by the participants. TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2013, 6-8 PM, FORYOURART Closing reception and presentation of the publication and panel discussion with Barbara Bestor, Claude Collins-Stracensky, Cyprien Gaillard, Vincent Lamouroux, and Marie Pejus moderated by Andrew Berardini.
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Friday> MAK’s Light My Way Auction Offers Well-Designed Lamps from Top-Name Architects

In honor of the Day of the Dead (and to raise some money), LA's MAK Center is hosting an auction of some amazing lamps this Friday from 7 to 10pm at its Fitzpatrick-Leland House. Those designing pieces for Light My Way, Stranger include Ball-Nogues, Hitoshi Abe, Coop Himmel(l)au, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, Hodgetts + Fung, Ehrlich Architects, B+U and many more. We can't do these objects justice with words, so check out the slideshow. Enjoy!
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On View> MAK Center Offers a Sneak Peek of the SCI-Arc Media Archive

Out Spoken MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, CA Through August 12 The SCI-Arc Media Archive, comprising four decades of lectures, symposia, and events from many of the most creative contemporary architects and thinkers, is scheduled to go online this fall. In anticipation of this resource becoming publicly accessible, the MAK Center (above) presents selected material from the archive curated by architects and architectural historians, each composing a singular argument out of their selections. Focusing on Peter Cook’s record 11 talks, architect Roger Sherman presents “Cook Off,” portraying the architect as a SCI-Arc “doppelganger” and lens through which the school may consider its “alternative” status. Scholar Dr. Paulette Singley offers “Teasers, Ticklers, and Twizzlers,” a look at interdisciplinary performance and architectural research. The architect, historian, and curator Anthony Fontenot presents “City Talk,” reflecting on the evolving dialogue on cities at SCI-Arc with a monitor dedicated to excerpts from each decade. Architect Marcelyn Gow investigates the role of drawing in architectural practice with “Drawn Out,” focusing on its evolution in our era of computational design.