On Friday nights all summer, a group of Austrian and German artists have been slinging drinks and hosting performances in a Mid-Wilshire garage designed by Rudolph Schindler and remodeled into a .65:1 scale replica of Austria's famous Loos Bar, with cardboard replacing the marble ceiling, pool noodles replacing brass and wood handrails, mosquito mesh replacing glass, and air conditioning filters becoming leather upholstery.
Andreas Bauer, Christoph Meier, Robert Schwarz, and Lukas Stopczynski are all artists-in-residency at the MAK Center, and they get to live in Schindler's 1939 Mackey Apartments for the six months of their residency while they work on projects like their Los Bar, the cheaply-built re-creation modeled on Adolf Loos's 1908 bar, which "anticipated Modernism in its simple geometry," according to a story yesterday in the New York Times by friend of Curbed Marissa Gluck. (Loos, incidentally, was Schindler's teacher.) The project was supposed to run through the residency's end in September, but an angry neighbor has gotten it shut down early; tonight's the last night to grab a drink (and a smoke!).
The bar was inspired by American production and Hollywood set design—it was built "quickly and cheaply"—but the experience is more European: Meier says "we wanted all the clichés of a European bar. You can smoke inside. It's loud. It's nasty." Drinks are paid for via donation only and artists from mariachi musicians to tattooists have come through (there was supposed to be a wedding on closing night).
Apparently one neighbor has not been a fan of the pop-up bar, though, and after yesterday's NYT story, threatened a lawsuit. So Los Bar is closing down early—it'll be open from 4 to 10 pm (sharp) today and then it's gone. The hosts will read from a "special booklet" and there'll be "objects by Ute Müller" and "the long awaited reenactment of Udo Proksch's bullet hole by Bryan Moss." (In an email to supporters, Meier writes "after that we will start with abstraction, become sound, smoke and light, then to take our flight …")
The four artists hope to bring Los Bar back again sometime, somewhere else in the world.
· Los Bar [tumblr]
· In L.A., a Cheaply Constructed Pop-Up Bar That's a Work of Art [NYT]