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Los Angeles Modernism Revisited: Houses by Neutra, Schindler, Ain, and Contemporaries
by David Schreyer and Andreas Nierhaus

There’s poetic parallelism in two Austrians (architectural historian Nierhaus and photographer Schreyer) tracing the work of primarily two Austrian architects. The book’s essay chronicles their 2017 journey to Los Angeles “to have an unobstructed as possible view of California modernism,” which focused initially on Neutra (they packed SAH/SCC Member Barbara Lamprecht’s definitive tome on the architect). Schreyer’s photography is not slick and vibrant, lending a softer feeling in line with the stated purpose “to establish a new gaze that can be described as anti-monumental.” After describing each house’s design and original patrons, Nierhaus relays conversations he’s had with the current inhabitants and the design professionals they worked with (many of whom are owners themselves). Only two homes maintain original owners at the time the book was prepared: Ray (now diseased) and Shelly Kappe and Noel Oliver Osheroff, who returned after her childhood home “had been rented out for decades.” Melding the past with the present—thereby showing “traces that decades of use had left on [the buildings]”—emphasizes the timelessness of modernist ideals.
Park Books, 2019, hardcover, 256 pages, $49

 

 

 

 
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