Upcoming Events

Mark Cottle: The Cost of Money
September 15 to November 15, 2019
Opening Saturday September 14, 6-9pm

THE COST OF MONEY refers to the steep human price capital can exact, particularly from the most vulnerable populations, and at enormous expense to the environment.

Each plastic shopping bag represents a transaction, or cluster of transactions, the tangible residue of goods consumed. Sometimes the bags are folded, stored, and brought back for another round of purchases. More often, however, they are thrown away. They have, in fact, come to signify a culture of disposability.

These bags also index a myriad of smaller, more informal economies, operating beneath the surface of the larger one, such as corner shops and takeout joints run by family members (rather than employees) or staffed by recent immigrants. Available in bulk, by the kilo, bags are often sourced through various intertwining immigrant business communities.

THE NEUTRA VDL HOUSE resides at the nexus of a number of flows. Here ideals and formal gestures of pre-war European modernism find a home in Southern California -- including the Arcadian notion of the primitive hut -- occupying utopian interiors that are, to all intents and purposes, contiguous with the outdoors, a tamed and regained paradise.

In the VDL House, two visions of modern domesticity co-inhabit: the original 30s version of the house, and the 60s post-fire iteration. While the two share an interest in layered and nested spaces, in planarity, and in blurring distinctions between inside and outside, the first version's strict modularity and abstract formal rigor lives in tension with the robust material textures and colors of the second.

I'm interested in this tension -- between abstract and material, between spatial and tectonic -- an internal conflict one can find in the writings of Semper, who notably proposed that the first enclosures were wickerwork, weaving, and tapestries -- making a cultural argument for the persistence of forms related to past materials and craft procedures, even when technologies have shifted. At the same time, Semper remarked that the thickness of a wall doesn't matter, only its surface, because the surface is what defines space.

And it's here I find the opportunity interact with this doubled vision by installing three tapestries, each approximately nine feet square, fashioned from plastic bags and twine, suspended at key moments in the house.

The first, in the courtyard/garden, adds another lamination, floating just in front of the stone veneer cladding. The second, at the stair/bridge, hangs in the gap. The third, in the salon, is a free plane, dividing dining and seating areas. All three are attached to existing drapery tracks and participate in the spatial logic already established in the house.

The geometry of the tapestries derive from an abiding interest in Islamic tile patterns, in particular those enriching the walls of the Alhambra, while the textures and colors reference the immediate landscape: paving stones and ground cover, clouds seen through branches, reflections on the water.

MARK COTTLE studied English literature and music composition at Clemson University, architecture and painting at Rice University, and theory and criticism at Harvard University. He has received a number of design awards, including the Steedman Fellowship in Architecture and the Dinkeloo Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. His artwork is exhibited regularly and may be found in the permanent collections of Rice University and the Atlanta High Museum of Art, among others. He is currently an associate professor with tenure on the faculty of the School of Architecture in the Georgia Tech College of Design, where he serves as director of the college's Stubbins Gallery and also directs the school's Architecture Undergraduate International Studio.

Past Events

Barnett Cohen Performance: congrats & condolences
April 27 & 28, 2019, 6:15pm

congrats and condolences, a new and original performance piece by the Los Angeles-based visual artist Barnett Cohen, is an experiential inquiry into consciousness and its relationship to the physical sense of sight.

congrats and condolences is created by Barnett Cohen in collaboration with performers Celina Bernstein, Nikki Bohm, Dan Bruinooge, Daphne Gabriel, Lea Madda, Andres Paul Ramacho, Cary Thompson. Outfits are by House of 950 and were produced by Blue Tin Production Co-Op in Chicago, the first clothing cooperative in America run operated refugee and immigrant women, run by Hoda Katebi. Curated by Samara Kaplan.

Barnett Cohen originally received formal theatrical training, with an emphasis on breath and vocal work, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He then embarked upon a career as a visual artist with an interest in multiple disciplines, employing a wide-range of media—sculpture, painting, video, installation, and performance–-that collectively serve as meditations on the space between thought and the self and between the self and the body. His work has been exhibited at such venues as Pieter (Los Angeles), House of the Book (Los Angeles), 356 Mission (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), City Limits (Oakland), The International Center for Photography (New York), and La Galerie SEE Studio (Paris.) In June of 2019, he will present new work at JDJ | The Ice House in Garrison, New York. He received a BA in English literature from Vassar College, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and has been in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the MacDowell Colony.

Book Presentation: Sun Seekers - The Cure of California by Lyra Kilston
Saturday, February 9th, 2019 from 5-7:30pm

A reading will take place at 5:30pm, followed by book signing.

Talk: Artist Noemie Goudal in conversation with Lyra Kilston
Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 7-9pm

Exhibition Opening: BLESS N°63 Neutra Dasein
Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 6-9pm

Book Presentation: LIGA, Space for Architecture, Mexico City “Architecture Exposed”
Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 4-6pm

Exhibition Opening: Tu casa es mi casa
Saturday, September 23, 2018 from 6-9pm

Exhibition Opening: VAPA@VDL
Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 5-8pm

This exhibition features work by high school students (age 16-18) from the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, curated by (16-year old) VAPA high school student Avery Wilcox. Each artwork offers new interpretations of the Neutra VDL House expressed in a variety of mediums - film, ceramic, painting and photography.

Dance Performance: Home LA // ENTER>text ONE HOUSE TWICE
Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, 2017 at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm

Reception: Neutra VDL House Landmark Designation Celebration
Saturday, April 24, 2017 from 4-6pm
Read KCRW's take on the celebration

Talk: Archinect presents Floating Worlds, Gender, Finance, Architecture
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 5pm
See event info on E-Flux

Exhibition Opening: Cornerstone by Les frères Chapuisat
Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 4-8pm

Book Presentation: LA Forum Presents "Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont" by Aris Janigian
Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 3:30-5:30pm

About the Book:
"Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont captures two Californias at a time when they have never been less coincident. Janigian serves up a brilliantly bipolar mix of memory and observation, fury and speculation, a story that may free his waiting screenwriter from false tethers to an overhyped city, even as it ties the author fast to a vast, prodigious, if lately unsung state."

—Joe Day, author of Corrections and Collections: Architectures for Art and Crime

Embroidering in Architecture: Neutra VDL with Jenny Hart
July 24, 2013

This workshop was produced by Machine Project for The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture as part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. A portion of the proceeds from this workshop went towards restoration efforts at the Neutra VDL Research House.