By Angela Romeo
To say that Annalisa Capurro is passionate about the protection and preservation of mid-century architecture would be an understatement. This Australian, aka Ms. Modernism, is the caretaker of the iconic 1957 Sulman Award-winning Jack House by architect Russell Jack in Sydney. She lectures at the Sydney’s Design Centre Enmore. She is a much sought after public speaker and architectural tour host for the Historic Houses Trust, Australian Architecture Association, Twentieth Century Society and the Design Institute of Australia. Annalisa is also an architectural photographer and most importantly will be exhibiting during Modernism Week 2017.
Contrast + Repetition, hosted by Mark Davis of The Art Room, 68845 Perez Rd. Unit H-6, Cathedral City, CA, will primarily feature Annalisa’s black and white photography along with a few select color images. The photographs are indicative of her passion for architecture and particularly all things modern. The exhibition will be open to the public and run the length of Modernism Week. An opening reception is set for Sunday, February 19, from 7-10 p.m.
Mid-century modern is used to describe the period from 1933-1965. This period saw a change in style and brought designers such as, Florence Knoll, Le Corbusier George Jensen, Russell Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The era brought forth the work of architects such as Albert Frey, Joseph Eichler, Richard Neutra and Donald Wexler. For many the movement ushered in the change that society was going through – the atomic age was beckoning and all things “new” and streamline were being introduced. Yes, the man in the gray flannel suit wanted to work 9 to 5 and be the family man on the weekend, but suburban ideal was the latest and most modern appliances and conveniences. The lure of midcentury design continues to be the clean timeless design that still offers the promise of simplicity and the flying car in the driveway.
And good design will always attract one’s eye. Annalisa believes “Good design doesn’t date.” The images presented in her exhibition do carry that message. The lines of the architecture stand as testament to Annalisa’s tenet – good design is timeless.
Annalisa’s interest in repeated forms and the patterns they create within the built environment reinforce not only the crispness of design but also that promise of uncomplicated organic design wrapped in the brave new world of technology. There is an element of hope that permeates mid-century aesthetic. Her photographic exhibition articulates and accentuates these elements, sometimes to the point of abstraction, using light, along with high contrast black and white, to manipulate negative and positive space. Viewing the images one feels as though they have landed on an alien yet very familiar place. The “Twilight Zone” quality of the work masterfully captured by the starkness presents to many Coachella residents a new way of viewing our own environment. Noted Annalisa, “My aim is to get people to see these modernist/midcentury buildings in a new light, with the hope of fostering a new appreciation. People look after what they love. I call it ‘preservation by appreciation’. It’s what I am all about. And it’s what Modernism Week is all about.”
There is functional beauty that Annalisa captures. In a throw-away society built upon the falseness of the reality TV world, she reinforces the notion that old does not necessarily mean obsolete or irrelevant. Follow her on Instagram.com/ms.modernism and Facebook.com/MsModernism.