In Wayne Thom's revelatory show, a generation of L.A. buildings gets needed attention

A 1971 photo of the CNA building (now the Superior Court) just west of downtown "put me on the map," Wayne Thom says. (Wayne Thom / WUHO Gallery)

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

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You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

You're familiar with pretty much every phase of Julius Shulman's long career as an architectural photographer. You started following the globe-trotting Iwan Baan on Instagram way before he became a design-world celebrity. You can't recommend Ezra Stoller's black-and-white pictures of midcentury Manhattan highly enough.

It includes 36 photographs of 17 buildings, in Los Angeles but also in Vancouver, Canada; San Diego and on Navajo land in Arizona, by architects including Giò Ponti, Frank Gehry, Arthur Erickson, A. Quincy Jones, William Pereira and the photographer's brother, Vancouver architect Bing Thom. Fourteen of the pictures are in black and white and 22 in color. They are divided into three categories by building type: plazas, towers and pavilions.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

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I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

A street view of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A., photographed by Wayne Thom in 2003. The image is at the WUHO Gallery.
(Wayne Thom / WUHO Gallery)

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

An interior black-and-white image of the roof of A. Quincy Jones' Congregational Church in Northridge, taken by Wayne Thom in 1968.
(Wayne Thom / WUHO Gallery)

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

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I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

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I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

I wish nearly all of the prints were bigger — not Gursky big but roomier. I wish one of my favorite Thom photographs, of the cubic Sears, Roebuck offices in Alhambra as seen from the far side of a wide parking lot, were included here. And the way the pictures have been mounted, under simple sheets of glass that represent a compromise between Thom's desire to show them unframed and Olsberg's interest in giving them some depth on the wall, is not ideal.

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