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Modernist houses -- through a unique lens

February 27, 2010 | 10:00 am

Lambri

Modern houses, with their severe lines and walls of steel and glass, are not always the coziest places, but they make Italian artist Luisa Lambri feel right at home. Her current exhibition at the Hammer Museum features photographs she took inside two classic local homes — the Sten-Frenke house by Richard Neutra and the Sheats-Goldstein residence by John Lautner. But even architectural aficionados may not be able to recognize them. Unlike the spreads in design magazines, Lambri's images are often closely cropped, highly personal views of what for some are very cold, impersonal spaces.


Lautner, for example, is known for sharply angular, monumental concrete structures, and Lambri initially wasn't that interested in his buildings. But when she visited the Sheats-Goldstein house, her reaction surprised her. "I found that Lautner has this really amazing ability to transcend places and architecture and you kind of forget that you’re there," she says. "Somehow you are really transported far away."

This transcendent quality is something Lambri tries to capture in her photographs, which, she says, are not really about architecture. "It is always about being able to find myself through a space," she says.

Read more in my Arts and Books section article here.

-- Sharon Mizota

Photo: Luisa Lambri on a balcony of the Sheats-Goldstein house in Beverly Hills. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

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