Between Heaven and Earth: The Architecture of John Lautner

Hammer Museum
2008

Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner is the first large-scale museum exhibition devoted to this innovative, yet underappreciated, American architect. Over the course of a career spent largely in Los Angeles, John Lautner (1911-1994) captured the essence of Southern California in more than 150 distinctive structures. Trained by Frank Lloyd Wright, Lautner is best known for such private homes as the Elrod Residence in Palms Springs, featured in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever, and Los Angeles's iconic "Chemosphere."

With over 100 original drawings and models, spanning a 50-year period, this exhibition will present Lautner's central ideas on structure, siting, line, and space. Short films by award-winning documentarian Murray Grigor commissioned for this exhibition and a group of large, newly fabricated models will convey the sensation of fluidity and spatial movement experienced in Lautner's buildings.

Organized by the Hammer Museum, Between Earth and Heaven is curated by Nicholas Olsberg, a cultural historian and expert on modern American architecture, and Frank Escher, an award-winning architect who helped establish The John Lautner Foundation.