Rudolph M. Schindler
About The Artist
The work of Rudolph M. Schindler (1887–1953) is among the most outstanding examples of 20th century design. An architect and designer, Schindler moved to the United States from Vienna during World War I, where he joined his friend Richard Neutra as part of a generation of celebrated emigre architects and designers on the West Coast.
Schindler studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (k.k. Akademie der bildenden Künste) in Vienna from 1910–13 under the legendary architect Otto Wagner. Wagner’s design philosophy espoused the value of modern techniques and materials in contemporary design, as opposed to the prevailing trend of aping historical styles. This experiences proved formative for the young architect. Schindler was also influenced by the lectures of Adolf Loos, which decried the use of ornament, as well as the groundbreaking approach of Frank Lloyd Wright. This prompted Schindler’s move to the United States in 1914, where he immigrated to Chicago in the hopes of the working for Wright. Moving to Los Angeles in 1921, Schindler built his home on Kings Road (open to the public today as the M.A.K. Schindler House) where he remained for the rest of his life.
Schindler’s designs were influenced by a host of influences, from Japanese interiors to German industrial architecture. His work responded to the particular conditions while remaining true to his modern aesthetic. He created over 200 pieces of furniture for the numerous houses which he designed in locations across Los Angeles, including built-in units as well as free-standing pieces. His oeuvre was surprisingly diverse, encompassing tables, chairs, lighting, cabinets, stereos and ottomans. His exquisite furniture is renowned for its precision and each piece evinces Schindler’s dedication to streamlined, geometrical form as well as a predilection for warm, organic materials like leather, wood and canvas.
A perpetual innovator, Schindler continually experimented with methods and materials throughout his career. His progressive concept of “space architecture” focused on the voids created by materials and carefully anticipated the movement of his clients. This unique approach defined generations of Los Angeles architecture to come. Schindler’s work has been the subject of major monographs and exhibitions, including “The Architecture of R.M. Schindler” at MOCA, Los Angeles in 2001. A seminal figure in architectural modernism, Schindler’s contribution to building and furniture design has been recognized since his early death and continues to delight scholars and collectors alike.
Scheine, J., “Rudolph M. Schindler Biography”. MAK Center. Web. October 11, 2016.