Furniture – by Andy Ring
Photographs – by Bart Julius Peters and Julius Shulman
Andy Ring’s Table 8 X 4 feet
“My inspiration is the gear used by fishermen, sailors, and surfers. Sailboat cleats, buoys, and surfboard fins are designed to be functional, but are also beautiful objects. I’m interested in bringing them into the home.
Julius Shulman Case Study House #21, Los Angeles, CA (Pierre Koenig, architect, 1958) chromogenic print 16 X 2 inches
One of Mr. Shulman’s most widely reproduced images, a 1960 view of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22, shows two well-dressed women in seemingly casual conversation in a living room that appears to float precariously above the Los Angeles basin. The vertiginous point of view contrasts sharply with the relaxed atmosphere of the house’s interior, testifying to the ability of the Modernist architect to transcend the limits of the natural world. Mr. Shulman’s other masterpiece, a 1947 picture of Neutra’s Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Calif., pits domesticity against nature in similar fashion. The image shows the architect’s mostly glass house as a Cubist array of shimmering squares and rectangles, bracketed in the foreground by two glowing chaise lounges and in the background by the desert and an expanse of forbidding mountains. To the left, a woman is seen reclining beside the house’s swimming pool, apparently oblivious to what seems to be imminent nightfall. The photograph was in fact taken at dusk, but to balance the light Mr. Shulman exposed the house, pool and surrounding landscape separately. In all, the exposure took 45 minutes.
He opened a studio in Los Angeles in 1950, by that time drawing much of his work from magazines based in New York. He remained in business full time until the late 1980s, when architectural tastes had shifted to postmodernism, a style that rebelled against Modernism’s reductive forms to include decorative ornament and an often willful pastiche of historical references. Mr. Shulman regarded postmodernism with disdain, arguing that its practitioners were interested only in facades, not living spaces. His self-proclaimed retirement did not prevent him from continuing to work, however. In 2001 he joined forces with a younger photographer, Juergen Nogai; they collaborated on the 2005 book “Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea” (Harry N. Abrams). In 2006, Nazraeli Press published “Vest Pocket Pictures,” a collection of Mr. Shulman’s early amateur photographs.
Other books featuring Mr. Shulman’s photographs include “Julius Shulman: Architecture and Its Photography” (Taschen); “Photographing Architecture and Interiors” (Balcony Press); “L.A. Lost and Found: An Architectural History of Los Angeles” (Hennessey and Ingalls); and “Modernism Rediscovered” (Taschen).
Bart Julius Peters