Inspired by my visit to The Getty, I decided to take in some of the other exhibitions that are running concurrently with Overdrive. Todays adventure was to the Hammer Museum for an exhibition covering the career of A. Quincy Jones; one of the architects featured at The Getty Show.
A. Quincy Jones has long been a favorite of mine. When I was a first year architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, we took a field trip to Los Angeles. We saw some of his buildings and visited his office. I have never forgotten the experience. I thought and still do think his designs are wonderful.
For me, once again this took me back to my youth. Looking at the renderings and working drawings, there is a special style to them, something that defines them as having been created during the amazing growth spurt that Los Angles experienced in the middle of the 20th century. I look at the these practical, yet beautiful renderings and I long for the style of the time; cool, chic, clean. Nothing looks as crisp and clean as a pen and ink rendering. I can smell the oder of the markers used to add color to the renderings. I can feel the crispness of the large pieces of paper under my hands. I remember looking at the undersides of my forearms after a long day of drawing…covered with graphite. Those days are gone.
I love the shapes of the plants and the people, how you can tell immediately what they are, but they are not infused with the super-reality of our current age. I remember the unique stylized “architectural lettering.” I don’t think anybody has to spend a whole semester learning how to print this way; neatly and with speed.
There was something magic about this time here is LA. It was a time of youthful exuberance, strength, growth and no limitations. The work of A. Quincy Jones has left an indelible mark on the cityscape of Los Angeles, and I for one applaud him.