Keeping Track of Pacific Standard Time: Modern Architecture

12 exhibitions. Nearly 100 events. A city-wide extravaganza. How do you keep track of it all?

Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., a scaled down sequel to the original Pacific Standard Time, is officially underway. This time around, there are 12 exhibitions and nearly 100 related events scattered across the city, from construction sites to the Schindler House, from Pasadena to Santa Barbara. Who can keep it all straight? Here’s a quickie guide.

A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979
March 29 – July 7
SCI-Arc Gallery
In 1979, Thom Mayne’s pop-up exhibition in Venice, the Architecture Gallery, was the place to see photos and plans of visionary structures. Revisit the ten-week show that highlighted the early works of then-young architects Eric Owen Moss, Frank Gehry, and Frank Dimster.

Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It
April 7 – August 4
The artist recreates two wartime Schindler homes, since demolished, by rebuilding the furniture that once warmed their interiors. Disembodied, Prina says, each piece resembles an “amputated limb.”

Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990
April 9 – July 21
Getty Center at J. Paul Getty Museum
This installation charts how L.A.’s modern identity emerged in the post-war years, finding expression in the city’s sleek architecture, its crops of coffee shops and shopping malls, its private homes and public insititutions.

In Focus: Ed Ruscha
April 9 – September 29
J. Paul Getty Museum
After relocating to L.A. in the 1950s, Ed Ruscha let his photographic eye rove over the urban landscape, settling on the city’s unassuming yet distinctive phenomena: gas stations, apartment buildings, the Sunset Strip, the Pacific Coast Highway. This retrospective showcases the Getty’s recent acquisitions from the Ruscha archives.

Technology and the Environment: The Postwar House in Southern California
April 11 – July 12
Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona
Cal Poly Pomona professors curate this exhibit examining how evolutions in building materials enabled a new approach to post-war design, as practiced by leading 20th century architects like Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Rudolph Schindler, and Frank Gehry.

Outside In: The Architecture of Smith and Williams
April 13 – June 16
Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara
Architects Whitney R. Smith and Wayne R. Williams helped develop L.A.’s post-war aesthetic with avant-garde buildings that married form to flora. Nature comes indoors in this first monographic study of their work.

Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. 1940-1990
April 20 – July 27
Los Angeles Conservancy
The Conservancy reboots their Curating the City program with a new series of twilight walking tours and panel discussions on suburban sprawl. See how your nostalgia-suffused snapshots of Bunker Hill skyscrapers stack up in their Instagram contest.

The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture
May 1 – August 15
Locations TBD
The Echo Park artists’ group recruited thirty of its own to respond to architectural landmarks around the city. Stay tuned for details, but projects are rumored to include site-specific performance art set inside a Schindler home and a lecture on aquatic arcana delivered (where else?) at a three million-dollar Frank Gehry aquarium.

Everything Loose Will Land
May 9 – August 4
MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House
This installment makes light of Frank Lloyd Wright’s infamous dig, “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” Like most 1970s boundaries, those between L.A.’s artists and architects blurred, leading to unprecedented collaborations and innovations. Function and form cease to be distinct in this exhibit that unites PST’s emphases on architecture and visual design.

Pasadena 1940 Forward
May 16 – May 19
Pasadena Heritage
Pasadena installment features panels with noted architects, driving tours of area homes, and newly released oral histories from key players in the local scene. 

On-Site Office Trailers: Invisible Architecture of the Urban Environment
May 17 – June 16
The Center for Land Use Interpretation
Boxy, temporary, ugly…and artsy? The maligned prefab construction trailer gets its due as a stepping stone to permanence in this photographic exhibit.

Windshield Perspective
May 17 – July 9
A+D Architecture and Design Museum
Most of us tune out behind the wheel, but this installation invites visitors to interpret their daily commute with a critical eye. The exhibit recreates a bleak stretch of Beverly Boulevard between Normandie and Virgil, questioning the car windshield’s role as both shield and lens.

Extreme IDEAS: Architecture at the Intersection
May 22, May 29, June 5, June 28
UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Inspiration comes from many quarters in this series examining how Hollywood, Detroit, and Silicon Valley are shaping the radical future of architecture.

A. Quincy Jones Building for Better Living
May 25 – September 8
Hammer Museum
The Hammer exhibit features work by the longtime L.A. architect, reveling in his designs—commercial, residential, and institutional.

Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990
Launching in May
Online Exhibition, Huntington
The Huntington mines its vast archive of Southern California Edison photographs for this cloud-based exhibit, curating mini-collections around such themes as “domesticity” and “noir.”

A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California
June 2 – September 2
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Local architecture gets its day in the sun (literally and metaphorically) when contemporary structures by L.A. luminaries Eric Owen Moss, Frank Gehry, and Michael Rotondi are recognized as works of art.

The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA
June 9 – September 15
Resnick Pavilion, LACMA
LACMA turns the Pacific Standard Time Presents gaze inward with The Presence of the Past, a think piece about the institution’s Hancock Park roots and Peter Zumthor’s plans to remake the east campus.

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
June 23
Wilshire Boulevard from Downtown to Fairfax Avenue
Pedal in peace (with several hundred of your neighbors) as you all gaze, car-free, at the landmarks along one of the city’s most historic boulevards.