Vintage Neutra Plywoodporn

Whatever else it is, Hurricane Irene is the greatest thing to happen to plywood fetishists since the Puerto Rican Day parade.

I love the sight of a freshly boarded up facade under any circumstances, the fiery, manufactured beauty of the plywood grain before it's sullied by spray paint or Clive Owen movie posters.

Do you remember how they managed to find more of just the right vintage Douglas fir ply in 2001 so they could install Donald Judd's spectacular 1976 piece, Untitled (Slant Piece) all the way across the back wall of Paula Cooper's space? I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

I can't find a picture, either, so these snapshots of the deep, honey-colored plywood I saw around the previously undocumented Richard Neutra lodge I discovered in rural Utah last year will have to suffice:


There was this one piece loosely covering up the fireplace in the living room, beautiful, but really, just a teaser.


What to do when it's 1950, and you're out in a desert field, finishing up your client's hunting lodge, and you've got a bunch of plywood scraps left over? Don't fret the grain matching, just knock together a small dresser or two.


And then just stick the rest down in the basement, so he can use it to close up the house during inclement weather.

Previously: Beckstrand Lodge, Richard Neutra, 1950

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: August 27, 2011.

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