Photographer Chris Mottalini is obsessed with structural ghosts. At the heart of that obsession is architect Paul Rudolph's homes, which Mottalini documented in various stages of demolition over a period of seven years.
The images were recently gathered together in a striking book, "After You Left, They Took it Apart." Mottalini will sign the book at an exhibition of those same photographs on Thursday at the Landing, the gallery space inside the rare furniture gallery Reform.
Paul Rudolph served as the dean of the Yale School of Architecture from the late 1950s until the early 1960s when he built his most famous work, the Yale Art and Architecture Building. He was a leading practitioner of the Brutalist movement -- defined by large, blockish, angular concrete structures.
Mottalini became attracted to Rudolph's work upon his first visit to one of his homes on commission from the Rudolph Foundation.
"Simply opening the front door and walking into that beautiful, tragic house was all it took," Mottalini says of the visit. After that he began documenting the misunderstood homes as they were being demolished.
The images read like portraits of neglect and speak volumes about the way society forgets historically important buildings in favor of the newest thing.
In the pictures the houses stand empty -- windows broken, walls dirty white, concrete floors chipped, doors caved in. The late-afternoon sunlight reflects the neglect in shades of ash gray and dull yellow.
Photographs from Chris Mottalini's "After You Left, They Took it Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes)," opening reception and book release/signing: 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Landing in Reform, 6819 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 938-1515; www.reform-modern.com. The work will be on display through Nov. 30.