Curated by Erik Benjamins and Marta Gallery
September 18th - November 7th, 2021
Neutra VDL is pleased to welcome visitors back to the house on behalf of 'Built In', a group exhibition of newly-created, site-specific works that richly engage the built-in architectural and historic elements of the VDL House (1932 / 1965). Showcasing work by 32 artists, designers, architects, and creative practitioners, 'Built In' celebrates the possibilities inherent to residential programming by inviting exhibition participants to dialogue with various structures intrinsic to the residence.
Built-ins are the unmoving opposites of freestanding furniture. Designed as permanent elements of the interior architecture of a home, they whisper of both universal and personalized programmatic intention long after their moveable siblings have been swapped-out, updated, or relegated to storage. Invitations to respond to these sites and phenomena that elegantly punctuate the VDL House have prompted a collection of alternately present and receding works, variously arranged among, sensitive towards, fitted atop, responsive to, informed by, encased in, suspended from, and rested upon these built-ins.
To honor the unique challenges and privileges of place-specific artistic response, the curators have invited participants within and around the Los Angeles area. While this cohort is unified by geography, they represent a staggeringly diverse array of creative practices and aesthetic languages. The resulting works celebrate the built-in as a generative platform for creative response in ways that are materially and spatially-aware, sensorially-engaged, functional, and poetic.
'Built In' is organized by artist and writer Erik Benjamins in tandem with art and design gallery Marta, each of whom have long valued and explored domestic spaces, objects, and rhythms within their respective practices. They are thrilled to work closely with VDL Directors Noam Saragosti and Juhee Park, who began their first year of stewardship at the onset of the COVID–19 pandemic. This exhibition will be the first that is viewable in-person after over a year-long hiatus.