Underlying every great city is a rich and vibrant culture that shapes the texture of life within. In The Speculative City: Art, Real Estate, and the Making of Global Los Angeles (U Minnesota Press, 2021), Susanna Phillips Newbury teases out how art and Los Angeles shaped one another’s evolution. She compellingly articulates how together they transformed the Southland, establishing the foundation for its contemporary art infrastructure, and explains how artists came to influence Los Angeles’s burgeoning definition as the global city of the twenty-first century.
Pairing particular works of art with specific innovations in real estate development, The Speculative City reveals the connections between real estate and contemporary art as they constructed Los Angeles’s present-day cityscape. From banal parking lots to Frank Gehry’s designs for artists’ studios and museums, Newbury examines pivotal interventions by artists and architects, city officials and cultural philanthropists, concluding with an examination of how, in the wake of the 2008 global credit crisis, contemporary art emerged as a financial asset to fuel private wealth and urban gentrification.
Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he can be reached by sending an email to btoepfer@toepferarchitecture.
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