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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Schindler's House, Los Angeles, 1997

These photographs show the architect Rudolph Schindler’s residence and studio in West Hollywood, California, completed in 1922. It is part of a series documenting landmark structures of the twentieth century, in which Sugimoto probes the psychological mechanisms that give monuments their monumentality.

Sugimoto’s technique effaces the iconic status of the edifices he pictures. Deliberately out of focus and often shot from odd angles, his photographs fragment and isolate architecture, reducing a facade or an interior space to mere details. By isolating and distorting the form, he not only removes the features that might focus our attention on a building’s structure and function, but also pares away ideology and cultural context. He exposes the way a building imposes itself on our consciousness: in real-time awareness, in memory, in imagination. The photograph represents not the actual structure but the subjective experience of it.

Sugimoto’s architectural spaces are uninhabited. Yet in spite of the vacant quality of the photographs, or perhaps because of it, the buildings seem to project an oddly animate presence, a lurking, mysterious density that disturbs as much as it seduces.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Schindler's House, Los Angeles
Artist name
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Date created
1997
Classification
photograph
Medium
gelatin silver print
Dimensions
18 1/2 in. × 23 in. (46.99 cm × 58.42 cm)
Date acquired
1999
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
Copyright
© Hiroshi Sugimoto
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/99.560.A-C
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Hiroshi Sugimoto

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