It's been quite a while since Bethlehem Baptist Church, the only church designed by modernist master Rudolph Schindler, served its original purpose. Built in 1944, the church fell into wrack and ruin after its last full-time congregation departed sometime in the early 70s before rising from the ashes in the last few years following a partial restoration and the awarding of Historic-Cultural Monument status. The church is now on the market with an asking price of $1.49 million.
As it awaits its next incarnation, the landmark structure has found a temporary purpose as an art gallery, hosting the first solo exhibit of conceptual artist Robert Barry in Los Angeles since 1989. The installation, curated by Thomas Solomon Art Advisory, was given a "Critic's Choice" designation by the LA Times' David Pagel, who wrote: "On the white walls of the intimately scaled church Barry has fastened sheets of shiny white vinyl lettering that spell out 51 words. Twelve inches tall, all caps, and printed in a slender font, the words are invisible when you look right at them. They can be seen only out of the corner of your eye, when you're looking at another feature of Schindler's masterpiece or staring off into space, daydreaming."
The installation's last day is tomorrow; it can be viewed between 12 and 4 pm.
· Bethlehem Baptist Church [LA Curbed archives]
· Critic's Choice Robert Barry has words with Rudolph Schindler [LAT]