Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA (January 15, 2013)—The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is pleased to present A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, on view starting March 29 on the school’s campus in downtown Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc exhibition examines the pivotal role played by the temporary gallery held in the home of architect Thom Mayne for several weeks in 1979. Los Angeles’ first gallery exclusively dedicated to architecture, the Architecture Gallery staged ten weekly exhibitions on both young and established Los Angeles practitioners, featuring the work of Eugene Kupper, Roland Coate Jr., Frederick Fisher, Frank Dimster, Frank O. Gehry, Peter de Bretteville, Morphosis (Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi), Studio Works (Craig Hodgetts and Robert Mangurian) and Eric Owen Moss. Opened with a lecture by another young architect, Coy Howard, public presentations by architects to accompany their exhibitions were hosted at SCI-Arc, then located on Berkeley Street in Santa Monica.
“We are extremely thankful to the Getty Foundation for making this exhibition possible,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “Although SCI-Arc has never imagined itself as a repository of architecture’s contemporary history, if a substantial effort to look back inexorably propels us forward, we’ll count the exhibition as a major success,” added Moss.
An immersive showcase of spectacular models, drawings and media will be mounted in two spaces located on the SCI-Arc campus, the main gallery and the Kappe Library Gallery. The exhibition will present a collection of models, drawings, and other materials shown during the original 1979 exhibitions, including drawings and models of Eric Owen Moss’ Morganstern Warehouse, Pinball House and Pasadena Condominiums; multimedia studies of Frederick Fisher’s Caplan House and Observatory; large-scale models and drawings of Studio Works’ South Side Settlement House and Nicolet Island project; Prismacolor renderings of Roland Coate’s Cabo Bello project; drawings of Eugene Kupper’s UCLA Extension Building; and additional projects representing each of the participating practices. These objects were executed across a wide spectrum of formats and media, and many of them have not been exhibited since 1979.
Boasting photographic documentation, video recordings, and important commentary from the period by Los Angeles Times critic John Dreyfuss, this exhibition aims neither to canonize the participating architects nor to consecrate their unorthodox activities. Rather, these rarely seen artifacts will provide a unique lens through which to re-examine some of Los Angeles’ most well known architects at a pivotal moment in the development of late 20th century architecture.
EXHIBITION PUBLIC PROGRAMS
March 27, 7pm in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall at SCI-Arc
Todd Gannon Lecture: Prelude to the Confederacy
Todd Gannon is a registered architect and writer based in Los Angeles. He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degrees from The Ohio State University and earned his Ph.D. from UCLA. He taught at Ohio State, UCLA, and Otis College of Art and Design before joining the faculty at SCI-Arc in 2008, where he is Cultural Studies coordinator. Gannon’s research focuses on the history and theory of late 20th-century and contemporary architecture. His published books include The Light Construction Reader (2002) and monographs on the work of Morphosis, Bernard Tschumi, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, and others. His essays have appeared in Log, The SAGE Handbook for Architectural Theory (2012), and elsewhere. Alongside Ewan Branda and Andrew Zago, Todd Gannon is curator of the exhibition A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, funded by the Getty Foundation as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. initiative.
Friday, April 5, 7pm in the SCI-Arc Gallery
Exhibition Discussion with Eric Owen Moss and curators Todd Gannon, Ewan Branda and Andrew Zago
This discussion between curators and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss—a participant in the original Architecture Gallery—will address the unprecedented breadth of tactics with which progressive Los Angeles architects experimented in the late 1970s, as well as tackle some of the earliest instances of innovations in formal organization, materiality, and design technique that developed through the 1980s and ’90s into the hallmarks of Los Angeles architecture. The exhibition talk will expand on SCI-Arc’s participation in Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and the initiative’s significant contribution to the ongoing understanding and appreciation of architecture in Los Angeles.
June 14-15, 2013, in the W. M. Keck Lecture Hall at SCI-Arc
A Confederacy of Heretics Symposium
Round table discussion with Architecture Gallery participants Eugene Kupper, Frederick Fisher, Peter de Bretteville, Thom Mayne, Michael Rotondi, Craig Hodgetts, Eric Moss and Coy Howard.
Speakers and panelists: Thom Mayne (keynote lecture), Hernan Diaz Alonso, Barbara Bestor, Annie Chu, Hsinming Fung, Wes Jones, Michael Maltzan, Andrew Zago, and others.
Moderators: Jeffrey Kipnis, Todd Gannon and Ewan Branda
Commonly understood today as a set of practices or beliefs in conflict with prevailing dogma, the word ‘heresy’ derives from the Greek αἵρεσις, meaning “choice.” To the Ancients, the term also signified a period during which a young philosopher would examine various schools of thought in order to determine his way of life. These inflections neatly capture the ambitions and attitudes held by the architects at the center of this presentation. As the exhibition will demonstrate, some of these architects had grown weary of what they viewed as the stale orthodoxies of the establishment, and indeed saw their work as a distinct challenge to the status quo. Others were less strident, and experimented with a diverse range of historical sources and techniques as potential platforms from which to develop their individual idioms. Others still struck out in bold new directions, drawing inspiration from the art world, literature, and other sources. Such wide-ranging activities underscore the inadequacy of portraying these architects as members of a coherent group or “L.A. School.” More correctly, the Architecture Gallery constitutes one of many confederacies into which these architects entered during their formative years. At the Architecture Gallery, the heretics found strength in numbers, and their loose and temporary confederacy would change the face of architecture in Los Angeles and around the world.
Image caption: 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, Frank Gehry. Photograph ©1980 Ave Pildas.
A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. This collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together several local cultural institutions for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city’s development and ongoing impact in new ways.
A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979 is supported by grants from the Getty Foundation. Sustaining support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Vinyl Institute. The publication is underwritten in part by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund. Additional support is provided by the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA. SCI-Arc exhibitions and public programs are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.
Parking and admission are free. No reservations are required. Events are broadcast live online at www.sciarc.edu/live.
SCI-Arc Public Programs are subject to change beyond our control. For the most current information, please visit www.sciarc.edu or call 213-613-2200.
Parking and Hours
The entrance to SCI-Arc's parking lot is at 350 Merrick Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, between Traction Avenue and 4th Street in Los Angeles. The SCI-Arc Gallery is open daily from 10am–6pm.
Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is an independent, accredited degree-granting institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc’s approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members, most of whom are practicing architects, work together to re-examine assumptions, create, explore and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc faculty and leadership have garnered more than 500 national and international design awards and recognitions, including Progressive Architecture awards, American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, and the prestigious Jencks and Pritzker architecture prizes. SCI-Arc is ranked 1st in computer applications and 2nd in design in the 2013 America’s Best Architecture Schools survey from DesignIntelligence, and #1 graduate and undergraduate architecture school in Western U.S. SCI-Arc is located at 960 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. www.sciarc.edu