Xavier Veilhan Architectones, VDL Research House, Los Angeles
The VDL property was the residence and studio of Richard J. Neutra, a young Austrian émigré and a founder and seminal figure in the Los Angeles school of modern architecture. This was Neutra’s own home and office, but also a laboratory for his architectural visions. The VDL is a “machine for living” and a structure that communicates with nature, with interiors and exteriors equally important. Consisting of monochrome interventions, the exhibition features sculptures throughout the property, from the front garden through the ground floor and domestic quarters to the rooftop reflecting pool. Statues, models, and other objects dialogue with the Modernist structure: its glass facades, rooftops, water basins and fountains. Both abstract and figurative, the artworks loosely trace the decades of the last century by focusing on the personal and professional history of architect Richard Neutra, his times, and Veilhan and his family’s interaction with the house.
In Los Angeles, the artist addresses the topic of modernity through objects such as a metal flag, a mobile, and models of a boat and cars. The installation also features a soundtrack composed by Nicolas Godin of the band Air.
Says Veilhan, “This house is not about a façade but about a function, not about size or luxury but about the quality of light and its connection to the outdoors. The interior of the building has been thought through like a car, a plane, or even more like the cabin of a boat: it is the perfect equation between people, function and environment. I want to celebrate and expand the concept of modernity that this represents.”