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
gelatin silver print
18 1/2 in. × 23 in. (46.99 cm × 58.42 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© Hiroshi Sugimoto
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Hiroshi Sugimoto

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.