The commanding photograph Loos, 2013, by Linda Lindroth, towers over viewers like a modernist building. In it, an enlarged, collapsed box takes the shape of a high rise. Its horizontal black and tan lines are a nod to architect Adolf Loos’s unrealized design for Josephine Baker’s residence. Loos’s buildings, such as The Looshaus (1911), in Vienna, illustrate his distaste for ornament, which he blamed for societal ills and decried as wasteful. Today, amongst conscious efforts to curb wastefulness, “repurposed” and “reclaimed” have become designer badges of honor. Leslie Kirby explores repurposing with her Containment Series, collages that question how shipping containers, traditionally used for safely delivering cargo, affect human consciousness as they evolve into permanent and temporary low cost housing. Timothy Hursley approaches repurposing from a different perspective with his pink-hued photograph Kid’s Room, Carlin Social Club, Carlin, Nevada, 1988/1990. What was once a brothel, is now a private residence, and the children’s room, strewn with toys, bares evidence of its former life with a partially mirrored ceiling and bordello-red curtains.
Mary Heilmann’s Bab Boujeloud, 1996, inspired by the arched Islamic gate in Fez, Morocco, captures the changing colors of juxtaposed mosaic tiles as they reflect the sunlight. Tamiko Kawata explores Pueblo architecture, traditionally flat roofed structures, stacked and situated around an open communal space, in both two- and three-dimensional form in Pueblo Drawing, 2014, and Small Pueblo #2, 2015, the latter composed entirely from safety pins. Mary Judge’s time spent painting for the design market at the Grazia factory in Italy is evident in her symmetrical painting, Diadema Red and Green, 2014, which also faintly resembles an architectural floor plan. Shona Macdonald illustrates how the manmade interrupts the natural landscape with her silverpoint series Ground Coverings, and Sandy Litchfield creates dreamy amalgams of the urban and natural landscapes with her collages Purple Haze and Study for Metropolush, both 2011, illustrating how the constructed environment seeps into our unconscious.