A Renewed Experimentalism: Exploring Late Modernism
On the occasion of the recent release of the book Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern (The Monacelli Press, 2020), the speakers of this event focused on the work of photographer Wayne Thom, explore Late Modernism in architecture, and discuss ongoing efforts to record and document movements and figures whose relevant contribution to architecture deserve a closer look.
Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern is the first monograph of Shanghai-born California-based photographer Wayne Thom, whose documentation of Late Modern architecture constitutes an architectural/visual archive unlike any other.
A crucial primer to late-twentieth-century Modernism, this monograph devoted to Wayne Thom chronicles his photographic practice and the architectural and urban environment in which he worked. An innovative chronicler of the booming West Coast urbanism of the 1960s and 70s, Thom’s photographs of key projects by architecture firms such as William Pereira & Associates, Edward Durell Stone, SOM, Gio Ponti, John Portman, I. M. Pei, and A. Quincy Jones helped establish the idea of cool architectural glamour of the era.
As author Emily Bills mentions in her introduction to the book, a new generation of architects were eager to rework the lessons of Midcentury Modernism. “These ‘Late Modernists,’ as Charles Jenks identified them, tended toward exaggeration, extending Modernism’s theoretical percepts in ways that signaled a renewed experimentalism.”
Mimi Zeiger, “Wayne Thom photographed the power of 1970s architecture. He’s finally getting his due,” Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2021.
John Hill, “Wayne Thom,” A Daily Dose of Architecture Books, February 18, 2021.
Christopher Hawthorne, “In Wayne Thom’s revelatory show, a generation of L.A. buildings gets needed attention,” Los Angeles Times, November 15, 2015.
Wayne Thom Photography Collection, USC Digital Library.
Order a copy of Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern from Monacelli and use the code THOM20 at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase.
→ Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern (The Monacelli Press, 2020).