Photographs by Lewis Baltz.
Steidl, 2011. 188 pp., 85 tritone illustrations, 12½x9¾".
Beginning in 1965, but especially in the years between 1967 and 1971, Lewis Baltz made a body of work concentrated on the dialectic between simple, regular geometric forms found in the postwar industrial landscape, and the culture that generated such forms. Stucco walls, parking lots, the sides of warehouse sheds or disused billboards baked in the steady Californian sunlight. Baltz called his works “Prototypes,” by which he meant replicable social conventions as well as model structures of replicable manufacture.
Marking Baltz’s preliminary forays into a minimal aesthetic, The Prototype Works continued his work to capture the reality of a sprawling Western ecology gone wild.