Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990

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Highways 5, 10, 60, and 101 Looking West, L.A. River and Downtown Beyond, 2004 Archival Pigment Print 40 X 50 In. (101.6 X 127 Cm). Collection Of And © Michael Light, Courtesy of Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990

1200 Getty Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
April 9th, 2013 - July 21st, 2013
Opening: April 9th, 2013 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM

santa monica/venice
Tue-Fri, Sun 10-5:30; Sat 10-9. Closed Mondays and on January 1, July 4 (Independence Day), Thanksgiving, and December 25 (Christmas Day).
films, animations, ephemera, photography


The first major exhibition to survey Los Angeles's complex urban landscape and diverse architectural innovations

During the 20th century, Los Angeles rapidly evolved into one of the most populous and influential industrial, economic, and creative capitals in the world. Innovations promoted by enlightened patrons and visionary planners and architects transformed an expansive, latent landscape into a vibrant laboratory for cutting-edge design.

Overdrive refers to the extraordinary pace and worldwide impact of L.A.'s impressive growth. The term also alludes to the fact that an engine churning at incredible speed may overheat. In the face of complicated civic, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges, L.A. has continued to recalibrate and foster bold new cycles of architectural exploration.

This groundbreaking exhibition provides an engaging view of the region's diverse urban landscape, including its ambitious freeway network, sleek corporate towers, whimsical coffee shops, popular shopping malls, refined steel-and-glass residences, and eclectic cultural institutions. Drawings, photographs, models, films, animations, oral histories, and ephemera illustrate the complex dimensions of L.A.'s rich and often underappreciated built environment, revealing this metropolis's global impact.


Co-organized by the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990 is part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., which celebrates Southern California's lasting impact on modern architecture through exhibitions and programs organized by seventeen area cultural institutions from April through July 2013.

Following its presentation at the Getty, this exhibition will be on view at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. from October 13, 2013 through March 2, 2014.