Paul Rudolph: Demolished
Friday, January 28th, 2011
In 2007, New York-based photographer Chris Mottalinivisited three soon-to-be demolished homes designed by modernist architect Paul Rudolph. The photographs, entitled After You Left, They Took It Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes), show these once opulent, coveted houses in various states of disrepair and emptiness. Windows are smashed, debris litters the floors; coupled with mostly white and beige and clinical geometry, they don’t appear to be have any of the qualities of homeliness.
Shooting primarily when the sun was low in the sky, Mottalini managed to capture the sheer creepiness of a house in dereliction — with darkness literally descending upon it. There’s something unsettling about the brutalist, concrete structures revealing their vulnerability. At the same time, his photographs act as a memorial to an architect that never failed to impress his supporters and provoke the ire of his critics. The impending demolitions are what Mottalini calls “representative of a tragic disregard for mid-century architecture.”
The Rudolph homes, located in Westport, CT, Watch Hill, RI and Siesta Key, FL, respectively, “capture a state of modernist architecture few people have witnessed, revealing the grace of these homes as they stood in defiance of abandonment and ‘progress,’” Mottalini says. “My intent was to pay homage to Paul Rudolph and his work and to document the more abstract and elusive qualities of architecture — decay, destruction, impermanence.”
View the full project here: www.mottalini.com