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Neutra, Schindler and the course of L.A. modernism

July 31, 2010 | 12:38 pm


 "Architecture of the Sun," a new study of Los Angeles modernism by UCLA historian Thomas S. Hines, is a massive piece of scholarship. It covers more than 700 pages and takes us into the studios of dozens of innovative architects who lived or worked in Southern California, including Irving Gill, Frank Lloyd Wright and John Lautner.

At heart, though, the book is really the story of just two architects: Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Close at first, the pair, both Austrian emigres with an unshakable commitment to the ideals of modernism, became rivals as their careers wore on. But they had a measure of reconciliation late in Schindler's life, when they wound up, miraculously enough, sharing the same hospital room in what was apparently a sheer coincidence.

For more on the Schindler-Neutra relationship and the book's take on their work, see my Critic's Notebook.

--Christopher Hawthorne

Photo: Richard Neutra's Lovell Health House. Courtesy Rizzoli.