‘After You Left, They Took It Apart’: Paul Rudolph Exhibition at Colgate

Twitchell House / ©

The Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University will host a reception on Tuesday, September 13, 5-7 p.m. to celebrate the new exhibition, An Architect’s Vision: Paul Rudolph and Colgate’s Creative Arts Center and the concurrent exhibition, After You Left, They Took It Apart, photographs by Chris Mottalini. Both open on August 30th and remain on view through October 7th

In 2007 Mottalini photographed three homes by the late Modernist architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997), just days prior to their demolitions. The resulting images capture a state of Modernist architecture few people have witnessed, revealing the grace of these homes as they stood in defiance of severe neglect and ‘progress’. Mottalini’s photographs are the final portraits of these destroyed homes. More information and images on the exhibition after the break.

Cerrito House / © Chris Mottalini

Chris Mottalini (b. 1978) grew up in Buffalo, and has been living in City for the past ten years. He has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2000) and also studied in Sweden. Mottalini’s photographs have been internationally exhibited and widely published. The twenty-four prints included in Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery exhibition are from Mottalini’s project After You Left, They Took It Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes).

Cerrito House / © Chris Mottalini

The iconic Micheels house in Westport, Connecticut (1972-2007) was the first of Rudolph’s projects to be demolished since his death in 1997. It was soon followed by the Cerrito house in Watch Hill, Rhode Island (1956-2007) and the Twitchell house in Siesta Key, Florida (1941-2007). Though attempts at preservation were made, they were ultimately ignored, leaving Mottalini’s photographs to stand as a unique form of preservation.

Micheels House / © Chris Mottalini

This project addresses the beauty and importance of these Paul Rudolph homes (and Modernist architecture as a whole), as well as the personal and cultural frustration over their loss. The intent was to pay homage to Paul Rudolph and his work, as well as the more abstract and elusive qualities of architecture – decay, destruction, loss and fragility. Several other Paul Rudolph projects are currently slated for demolition and, as a result, he has become representative of a tragic disregard for mid-century architecture.

Micheels House / © Chris Mottalini

The Picker Art Gallery is located in the Charles A. Dana Arts Center on Lally Lane (just off 12B), on the Colgate University campus in Hamilton, NY. The gallery hour is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to5 p.m. It is closed holidays and academic breaks. For more information, call 315-228-7634 or visit their website here.

Cite: "‘After You Left, They Took It Apart’: Paul Rudolph Exhibition at Colgate" 30 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=164271>

1 comment

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    It saddens me deeply that these buildings were demolished. I was more that fortunate to receive 2 seikos on Mylar and a KP5 from his office in 1987. They’re on the wall behind me. I’m getting pissed; I’m outta here.

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