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February 25, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

CONTEMPORARY CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTS by Philip Jodido, French translation by Jacques Bosser; German translation by Franca Fritz (Taschen: $??; 176 pp., paperback original). Arts journalist Philip Jodido presents an overview of the designs of 14 prominent Southern California architectural firms. Asymmetrical facades, industrial materials, oblique angles, bold curves and flamboyant colors characterize their work, with results that range from dramatic to bizarre: George Herriman seems to have been the key influence on some of these structures. Many of the architects offer elaborate theories about their buildings, but no one discusses what it's like to live in one of these conglomerations of bare concrete, steel and glass.

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