Chris Mottalini

Chris Mottalini

Selected works from After You Left, They Took it Apart, an on-going photographic series on demolished homes designed by modernist architect Paul Rudolph.

Exhibition Dates: Dec 9 - 19, 2010
Reception: 6-8pm, Dec 11, 2010


Arts & Sciences Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of selected works from photographer Chris Mottalini’s series After You Left, They Took It Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes).

Mottalini’s photographs serve as the final portraits of three now-demolished houses designed by modernist architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997). In the days leading up to their demise, Mottalini gained unprecedented access to the homes (the Micheels house in Westport, CT; the Cerrito House in Watch Hill, RI; and the Twitchell House in Siesta Key, FL) and captured them on the brink of their destruction. The disturbing end of these structures stands as a powerful testament to the failures of the modernist aesthetic, a design philosophy that never merged with the American ideals of suburban sprawl and maximal square footage.

As former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Paul Rudolph was known for his spatially complex structures made primarily of concrete in the Brutalist style. His most famous building, the Yale University Art & Architecture (A&A) Building, is often cited as one of the best examples of American Brutalism. Many of Rudolph’s most significant residential projects have succumbed to years of neglect and obscurity. Ironically, now that several of the private homes he designed have been demolished, his career is experiencing somewhat of a revival. Yale completed a $120 million renovation of the A&A building in 2008, re-crowning it Paul Rudolph Hall. Rudolph’s large-scale, wildly expansive 1967 design to link Lower Manhattan with Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was the subject of an acclaimed exhibit at the Cooper Union in November 2010. As one of the masters of modernism who truly believed in pushing the limits of technology in the service of architecture, Rudolph’s legacy lives on in Mottalini’s somber, yet ultimately intimate homage to one of the last century’s most innovative and boldest architectural visionaries.

Originally from Buffalo, Chris Mottalini completed his B.S. in News Editorial from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2000). He now lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The series After You Left, They Took It Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes) was previously exhibited at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University (Rudolph’s alma mater) in early 2010. Mottalini’s work has also been shown at the Julius Shulman Institute, Burbank, CA; the DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona; and the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette, among other venues. Mottalini’s photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including PIN-UP, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Casa Vogue, and Details. His photographic series on vernacular school bus shelters in the Buffalo area was recently published as The Mistake by the Lake (Lozen Up Books).

The exhibition will open on Thursday, December 9th and will be on view through December 19. Mottalini will discuss the series in a reception to be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010, from 6-8pm at Arts & Sciences PROJECTS. Following the reception, the 1983 Oscar nominated short documentary Spaces: the Architecture of Paul Rudolph, will be shown as part of our Building Character architectural film and video series.