Architecture and Abstraction – Watercolour Paintings by Amy Park

Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-2 Richard Neutra’s Grace Miller House, 1941, Palm Springs CA 2012 © Amy Park

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this architectural artwork by Amy Park, who currently lives and works in Long Island, New York. Her paintings investigate the history of architecture and abstraction, creating large-scale works that depict modernist architectural facades. This particular series is of popular architectural buildings in the Los Angeles area, which is a subject quite close to my heart as I’ve visited many of the builds myself.

As I’ve spent a good chunk of my life in the UK, Los Angeles and the architecture that’s situated there is quite a departure from what I’m used to. The city itself is so diverse that it often baffles me how designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra and John Lautner were able to cut through such a city of confusion and complication to create architecture that’s strikingly simple and sophisticated at the same time. If you look hard enough you can find real gems here.

This simplicity has been translated quite brilliantly by Amy Park, who creates grids that are constructed through repetitive pencil marks and precise watercolour strokes. No doubt she has to take in to account the angle of the build and the different proportions, alongside how it sits and the conversation it has with the urban landscape. I also like that she sections off elements with block colour, using both literal elements of the build and combining elements of abstraction to create an image that sums up the modernist aesthetic.

Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-11 Charles and Ray Eames House #2, 1950, Pacific Palisades, CA 2012 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-8 Olin Hall, University of Southern California, 1963, Los Angeles, CA, (William Pereira Associates) 2012 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-7 John Lautner’s Jacobsen House, 1948, Los Angeles CA 2012 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-1 Charles and Ray Eames House #3, 1950, Pacific Palisades, CA 2012 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-3 Richard Neutra’s Lovell “Health House”, Los Angeles, CA 2012 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-4 J.S. Schindler’s Harris House, Los Angeles CA, 2011 © Amy Park
Architecture-in-Watercolour---Paintings-by-Amy-Park-9 Julius Shulman’s House and Studio (designed by Raphael Soriano) 1951, Los Angeles, CA, 2011 © Amy Park