A good third of the 300 buildings designed by the late Richard Neutra can be found in California, says Dion Neutra, 79, head of the Neutra Institute for Survival Through Design and son of the pioneering Modernist. Eight classic Neutra interiors including Dion's own home, above, will be open for tours, part of an 80th anniversary celebration for the architectural practice of father and son, below. The events, on April 8 and 9, will include a symposium on second-generation architects carrying the tradition of California design, as well as a reunion of Neutra homeowners from across the globe. Dion says the goal is historic preservation. "I got a letter from the Swiss ambassador to Cuba, who lives in a Neutra house in Havana," Dion says, "but there are still many buildings unaccounted for." Tickets and information: www.neutra.org.
Tarred and featured
After more than a decade as creative director for the Italian furniture firm Cappellini, Mattia Biagi is staging his first one-man show, "The House in Tar," which opens tonight at Twentieth. Dripping tar on picture frames and candlesticks is "sticky and smells bad," says the former Milanese model, but the results can be surprisingly beautiful -- a Baroque twist on minimalism. He also dips Disney characters in the black stuff, then coats them in a clear finish so they don't stink. The pieces are admittedly goofy but also pop cultural satire. (With prices starting at $800, they had better be.) "I like Mickey Mouse, but I can't hang him on a wall in my house with all of his colors," Biagi says. "But Mickey Mouse in tar is cool." A reception runs from 6 to 9 tonight. 8057 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; (323) 904-1200; www.twentieth.net.