Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler
January 29, 2011 - May 29, 2011
Donald Wexler practiced architecture during what he calls the “golden age” of California architecture from the immediate postwar years through the 1970s. This was a time when architects enjoyed considerable freedom to employ new materials and technologies in their search for functionally beautiful architecture. The extremes of the desert climate forced Wexler to develop a sustainable architecture, which was not only successful functionally, but achieved a timeless aesthetic appeal. During a career that spanned almost six decades, he designed numerous houses, condominium complexes, as well as banks, office parks and schools. The primary objects in the exhibition will be drawn from the Donald Wexler Collection, housed in the ENV Archives-Special Collections, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and will include original presentation drawings, working drawings, photographs and models. These will be augmented by a number of professional photographs and new models fabricated by Cal Poly students, including a full-scale sectional steel model illustrating the prefabrication system Wexler used in the steel houses. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with essays by co-curators, Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., professor of architecture, Cal Poly, Pomona and Sidney Williams, curator of architecture and design, Palm Springs Art Museum.
Organized by the Palm Springs Art Museum and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, this exhibition is funded in part by the museum’s Architecture & Design Council, CALCRAFT Construction, Mitre & Bevel, Escalante Architects, Helene Galen, Daniel Patrick Giles, Hamptons Modern, Thomas Jakway and Stephen Tripp, Harold Matzner, Brian McGuire, Ph.D., the City of Palm Springs, Modernism Week, Weldon Color Lab, American Institute of Architects/California Desert Chapter, and Friends of Donald Wexler.