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Photographs at Auburn University Chronicle Destroyed Modernist Homes
Chris Mottalini, The Micheels House #3, 17 x 23 ½ inches.
AUBURN, AL.- Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art opens a new exhibition of photographs by Chris Mottalini entitled After You Left, They Took It Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes.

The exhibition, on view Feb. 6 through April 17, features a series of haunting images that record the demise of three abandoned houses designed by world-renowned architect Paul Rudolph, who earned his Bachelor’s degree at Auburn University.

Rudolph, who died in 1997, was one of the 20th century’s most iconoclastic architects. Originator of the Sarasota Modern style of architecture in Florida, he studied at Harvard after graduating Auburn and later became dean of the school of architecture at Yale University. Best known for his starkly geometric, concrete building design termed “Brutalism,” his residential works shared the same modernist aesthetic while reflecting regional and vernacular influences.
By exploring these neglected paradigms of modern design, Mottalini found poignancy and no small measure of irony in the startling contrast of high modernism laid to ruin. Photographed in some cases immediately prior to the homes’ demolition, his images are the last “portraits” of Rudolph’s striking creations.

Mottalini’s photographs have appeared in numerous publications worldwide and have been included in recent exhibitions at the Santa Monica Center of Art in Barcelona, Spain and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Ill. This is his first showing in Alabama.

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art | Chris Mottalini | After You Left They Took It Apart |

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