chris mottalini

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after you left/they took it apart (demolished paul rudolph homes)


"A striking book…the images read like portraits of neglect and speak volumes about the way society forgets historically important buildings in favor of the newest thing" (LA Times)

In 2007 Chris Mottalini photographed three homes designed by the controversial Modernist architect Paul Rudolph, just days prior to their demolitions. The resulting project captures a state of Modernism few people have witnessed, revealing the grace of these homes as they stood in defiance of abandonment and “progress”. Mottalini's photographs are the final portraits of these destroyed homes (which were located in Westport, CT, Watch Hill, RI and Siesta Key, FL).

After You Left/They Took It Apart addresses the beauty and importance of these homes (and Modernist architecture as a whole), as well as the personal and cultural frustration over their loss. Mottalini's intent was to pay homage to Paul Rudolph and his work and to document the more abstract and elusive qualities of architecture, as well as the changing American architectural landscape. 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.

After You Left/They Took It Apart was published by The Center for American Places/Columbia College Chicago Press in November 2013 and has been widely published (The New York Times, The LA Times, The Atlantic Cities, Pin-Up, New York Magazine, Abitare, Casa Vogue, etc.) and exhibited (Reform Gallery in LA, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Ireland, Auburn University, The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, The Julius Schulman Institute, etc.).