Cliff May ‘Carefree California’ show at UC Santa Barbara

[quote]To the extent that modernism in architecture was about clearing the historical decks — about dramatically and even gleefully breaking with the past — Cliff May was never cut out to be a modernist. Not an orthodox one, anyway.[/quote]

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[twocol_one_last]A sixth-generation Californian born in 1903, May grew up spending summer vacations with an aunt on his father’s side who held a lifetime lease on one of the original Mexican ranchos in northern San Diego County. His mother’s family traced its lineage to Jose Antonio Estudillo, one of San Diego’s most prominent founders. And the low-slung, pitched-roof ranch house that May made famous wore its various historical influences easily, without any noticeable anxiety or self-consciousness.[twocol_one_last]

And yet there was always something plainly modern at the core of May’s work. His ranch houses were unfussy, even spare. And their smooth connection to the outdoors took the idea of the open plan, central to canonical European modernism, and extended it seamlessly to include the backyard, in the process helping transform the American garden from something to gaze at through the windows into a fully appointed open-air room.

[box type=”info”]Read: Cliff May ‘Carefree California’ show at UC Santa Barbara – Source: LA Times[/box]

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