into that beautiful, tragic house was all it took. -Chris Mottalini
The Landing:: @ Reform Gallery
Opening Reception and Book Release/Signing: Thursday, October 3rd, 7 - 9:30pm
Photographs from Chris Mottalini’s After You Left/They Took It Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes)
"The exhibition will show the remarkable, arresting and ultimately moving photographs Chris Mottalini took of three homes by celebrated Modernist and Brutalist architect Paul Rudolph, captured in states of alarming disrepair and taken just days before each of these historically significant structures was demolished. The event will also serve as a book release party for a collection of these images, which is being released by Columbia College Chicago Press in late September. Chris Mottalini will be present and signing copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.
Architect Paul Rudolph, who served as Dean of Yale School of Architecture from the late 1950s through the mid-1960s and is best known for designing the Yale Art and Architecture Building, was a leading figure in the Brutalist movement, which favored linear, blockish, imposing concrete structures. Mottalini visited his first Rudolph house on a commission from the Rudolph Foundation, and says of that initial visit, “Simply opening the front door and walking into that beautiful, tragic house was all it took.” From there, Mottalini developed what he calls a “slight obsession with Rudolph and his work” that lead the photographer to document approximately thirty Rudolph buildings in the coming years. “The Rudolph Foundation helped me to gain access to many of these,” explains Mottalini, “but the interest/passion was all mine.”
“To me, these photographs are like ghosts,” says O’Brien, “but you can still see the bones. You can still see they’re architectural masterpieces, but they’re about to meet the wrecking ball. The history of architectural photography is about getting things at their freshest, and Chris is getting things at their end—there’s that tone to it. “I love the backstory but I also think they stand on their own, just as being beautiful photographs,” says O’Brien. “You can come to this without knowing these are Paul Rudolph homes and still find beauty in them.”
Bio: Chris Mottalini grew up in Buffalo, New York and lives in Brooklyn. He studied photojournalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Uppsala University, Sweden.