Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It

BCAM, Level 3 & Pavilion for Japanese Art
April 7, 2013–August 4, 2013

The origin of Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Prina’s installation As He Remembered It is a memory from the 1980s of walking down La Brea Avenue with fellow artist Christopher Williams. They saw a bright pink fitted unit by architect R. M. Schindler. The built-in desk had been taken out of its original context and displayed as a freestanding object. According to Prina, “it appeared to us as an amputated limb.”

Prina chose two houses built in Los Angeles during the early 1940s by  R. M. Schindler and since demolished. Using surviving plans and photographs, he had copies made of the unit furniture, which Schindler designed to be arranged to follow the lines of the room. The resulting installation at LACMA consists of twenty-eight objects that Prina painted pink using Pantone Honeysuckle 2011 Color of the Year and restaged in a grid pattern.

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This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. celebrates the city’s modern architectural heritage through exhibitions and programs at cultural institutions in and around L.A. starting in April 2013. Supported by grants from the Getty Foundation, Modern Architecture in L.A. is a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city’s development and ongoing impact in new ways. Learn more.

Pacific Standard Time Presents is an initiative of the Getty. Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and major support has been provided by the Getty Foundation.

Additional support was provided by Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; Petzel Gallery, New York; and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

Images: Stephen Prina, As He Remembered It, installation views, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2013. © Stephan Prina

Think Pink

It’s 1980s Los Angeles. Nighttime. Stephen Prina and fellow artist Christopher Williams walk along La Brea Avenue—yes, people do walk in Los Angeles—and a pink shape in a glowing storefront display catches their attention. Unable to identify the object, they approach the store and discover the puzzling unit is a desk designed by Austrian architect R.M. Schindler.  Something feels odd about the desk, and the artists soon learn it was once built-in to a Schindler house; but, having been removed from its original architectural context, the desk has been painted pink and is now presented, awkwardly, as a freestanding object...

Stephen Prina Finds Inspiration in Bruce Goff

The overlapping of disciplines and artistic expressions is at the core of Stephen Prina’s practice. Visitors to the exhibition Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It in the 3rd floor of BCAM have observed Prina’s engagement with modern architecture, specifically two homes built by R. M. Schindler. As the exhibition continues in the Pavilion for Japanese Art, visitors see Prina’s long-term interest in a different architect, Bruce Goff...