A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California

Until September 16, 2013 at MoCA

by eleonora usseglio prinsi
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EXHIBITION _ A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California is on view until September 16, 2013 at MoCA in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a city of continual reinvention-a city in a perpetual state of becoming, always looking for its future. Unconstrained by a singular historical or institutional orthodoxy, the city promises a creative environment free from the traditional hierarchies that limit individual expression and experimentation.

Unfettered by convenient guideposts or easy definitions, Los Angeles engenders a pervasive drive toward redefinition and reif ication. The city offers both a freedom and a heterogeneity that challenge the connections and collisions that typically forge multiple creators into a coherent cultural or civic identity.

A New Sculpturalism examines the work of thirty-eight major and emerging practices in contemporary Los Angeles architecture of the past twenty-five years. What unites this group of architects is not a drive towards a singular aesthetic, style or form but rather a relentless commitment to asking essential questions and challenging the very notion of what architecture is and can be. Their work is distinguished by innovative design, inventive use of materials, and a bold visual vocabulary.

Many have deep roots in Southern California, while others have been drawn here from around the world by the magnetic lure of an un-constrained creative environment. Among the earlier generation of represented architects are Frank Owen Gehry, Thom Mayne, and Eric Owen Moss, from whose practices have emerged younger generations of architects, a number of whom are included in the exhibition.

Through the inclusion of hand-made drawings, three-dimensional models, and other preparatory works, the exhibition aims to convey a sense of the processes these architects use to invent and experiment.

Photographs of the resulting built structures along with the voices of the architects articulating their practices are integrated into the overhead multimedia installation. Images of the projects are also accessible through the QR codes that are adjacent to the drawings and models on display.

Three full-scale built projects, or pavilions, designed by younger architects Elena Manferdini (Atelier Manferdini), and Georgina Huljich (P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S), and Tom Wiscombe (Tom Wiscombe Design), exemplify how the drive to invent continues to be a pervasive part of the current architectural dialogue. Celebrating the ideas, projects, and processes of an architectural community that continually seizes the opportunity to redefine architecture, both locally and globally, the exhibition demonstrates how Los Angeles is one of the world's vibrant centers for architectural thinking and creation, exporting its creative, intellectual capital all over the world.

250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Top image: Gehry Partners, LLP, National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) credit: Gehry Partners