From 2018 forward, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House in Laurel Canyon will play host to a series of ongoing design-centric exhibitions and programming, kicking off with Pin-up: A Designed Tribute to Schindler’s L.A. This show brings together four Los Angeles-based designers and one artist around the Austrian-born California modernist architect R.M. Schindler: Atelier de Troupe, led by Gabriel Abraham; Brendan Ravenhill; Pamela Shamshiri with John Williams; and long-time Schindler advocates Marmol Radziner. The Fitzpatrick-Leland House (1936) was originally commissioned by developer Clifton Fitzpatrick as a spec house (a real estate promotion to attract buyers to the new housing tracts in Laurel Canyon). Schindler’s now classically modernist design established the area as a common ground for L.A.’s cultural and political avant-garde, and the house continues to inspire today’s thriving creative community.
Atelier de Troupe first paid tribute to Schindler during Milan Design Week in April 2017. Staying true to his passion for ambiance, artistic director Gabriel Abraham, a former film set designer, drew on the iconic modernist to create a collection of light fixtures and furniture inspired by the 1920s and reimagined for Los Angeles today. Atelier de Troupe then partnered with the other featured Pin-upparticipants at the Triode Gallery in Paris this past September for an installation that was deemed one of Paris Design Week’s “10 Must See.” That exhibition inspired the evolution to install a show of these Schindler-inspired designers in the Fitzpatrick-Leland House.
Pamela Shamshiri and artist John Williams share a passion for the renowned Austrian-American architect’s work. Like Abraham, Shamshiri is a former film-set designer dedicated to strong environments. She co-founded the studio Commune Design (among their projects are the Ace Hotels in Los Angeles and Palm Springs) before founding her own studio, Studio Shamshiri, in 2016. Shamshiri lives in a Schindler house, also known as the Lechner House, which she bought in 2008. Completely restoring the modernist jewel in Schindler’s simple materials of wood, glass and cement, she also filled the house with furniture designed by Schindler. For Paris Design Week and now for Pin-up, Shamshiri collaborated with Los Angeles-based Williams in reinterpreting Schindler pieces and newly designed light fixtures.
Rudolph M. Schindler was born in Vienna in 1887 and moved to Chicago in 1914 in hopes of working for renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1921, Schindler established his own practice in Hollywood, collaborating with Richard Neutra from 1925-30. His inventive use of complex three-dimensional forms, innovative materials, and colors, as well as his ability to work successfully within tight budgets would place him as a maverick of early twentieth century architecture. While Schindler’s prolific career resulted in over 150 built projects, his major works include the Kings Road House in West Hollywood (1921-22), the How House in Silver Lake (1925), the Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach (1926), the Oliver House in Silver Lake (1933-34), the Kallis House in Hollywood (1946), and the Tischler House in Westwood (1949-50).
The MAK Center develops local and international projects exploring the intersection of contemporary art and architecture. Established in 1994 as a satellite of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, the MAK Center is a unique constellation of modern buildings designed by architect R.M. Schindler (1887-1953). It operates from the landmark Schindler House (1922) in West Hollywood and the Mackey Apartments (1939) and the Fitzpatrick-Leland House (1936) in Los Angeles. By reactivating historic properties with progressive programming, the MAK Center challenges conventional notions of architectural preservation and encourages exploration and experimentation as part of its unique contribution to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.