Here, from Pulitzer Prize winning critic Paul Goldberger, is the first full-fledged critical biography of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. Goldberger follows Gehry from his humble origins the son of working-class Jewish immigrants in Toronto to the heights of his extraordinary career. He explores Gehry's relationship to Los Angeles, a city that welcomed outsider artists and profoundly shaped him in his formative years. He surveys the full range of his work, from the Bilbao Guggenheim to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. to the architects own home in Santa Monica, which galvanized his neighbors and astonished the world. He analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which an amiable surface masks a driving ambition. And he discusses his use of technology, not just to change the way a building looks, but to revolutionize the very practice of the field. Comprehensive and incisive, Building Art is a sweeping view of a singular artist and an essential story of architectures modern era.
Few architects working today have achieved the notoriety of Frank Gehry. He's designed buildings in his inventive, sculptural style in Paris, Bilbao, Los Angeles and here in Chicago's Millennium Park. Despite his worldwide notoriety, the new book \"Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry\" is the first major biography to look at Gehry's long life, complicated personality and singular approach to architecture.
\"He would accompany her to the market and buy this fish, and then watch it when he was a little boy, swimming in the bathtub, and be fascinated by it. The fish became an image in his mind that actually really persisted all through his life and is one of his favorite forms. He's used it and replicated it in many many ways: lamps, even buildings, sculptures and so forth.\"
In 1961, Gehry moved to Paris, where he worked for architect Andre Remondet. In 1962, he established a practice in Los Angeles that became Frank Gehry and Associates in 1967, then Gehry Partners in 2001. His earliest commissions were in Southern California, where he designed a number of innovative commercial structures such as Santa Monica Place (1980) and residential buildings such as the eccentric Norton House (1984) in Venice, California.
Among these works, Gehry's most notable design may be the renovation of his own Santa Monica residence. Originally built in 1920 and purchased by Gehry in 1977, it features a metallic exterior wrapped around the original building that leaves many of the original details visible. Gehry still resides there.
His other notable works include academic buildings such as the Stata Center (2004) at MIT, and the Peter B. Lewis Library (2008) at Princeton University; museums such as the Museum of Pop Culture (2000) in Seattle, Washington; commercial buildings such as the IAC Building (2007) in New York City; and residential buildings, such as Gehry's first skyscraper, the Beekman Tower at 8 Spruce Street (2011) in New York City.
Said to \"defy categorisation\", Gehry's work reflects a spirit of experimentation coupled with a respect for the demands of professional practice, and has remained largely unaligned with broader stylistic tendencies or movements. With his earliest educational influences rooted in modernism, Gehry's work has sought to escape modernist stylistic tropes while remaining interested in some of its underlying transformative agendas. Continually working between given circumstances and unanticipated materializations, he has been assessed as someone who \"made us produce buildings that are fun, sculpturally exciting, good experiences\", although his approach may become \"less relevant as pressure mounts to do more with less\".
Though much of Gehry's work has been well-received, its reception was not always positive. Art historian Hal Foster reads Gehry's architecture as, primarily, in the service of corporate branding. Criticism of his work includes complaints over design flaws that the buildings waste structural resources by creating functionless forms, do not seem to belong in their surroundings or enhance the public context of their locations, and are apparently designed without taking into account the local climate.
The Disney Concert Hall was finished in 2003, when Gehry was 74 years old, but even with both the Guggenheim and the Disney to guarantee his legacy, he has kept working. The hidden atrium of the DZ Bank in Berlin and the Fondation Louis Vuitton are both important additions to his oeuvre, and 8 Spruce Street finally gives him a big building in New York City. However, at least as important to his legacy as these buildings are is the example Gehry sets in his use of advanced digital technology as a design tool, in order to make the building process not only more efficient and more creative, but also to keep it, he says, from becoming unaffordable. This technology creates another wrinkle to the charge he thinks of himself as an artist, by raising the question: can software draw
The 528-page book tells the story of Gehry's life, growing up in Canada and moving to Los Angeles with his family when he was 18 because his father's health required a change in climate. In the preface, Goldberger tells how he became acquainted with Gehry in 1974 and wrote articles about his work over the years, which were published in the New York Times, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker.
Frank Gehry is probably best known for buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (completed in 1997), and for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (completed in 2003). Those buildings express the exuberant style of his later work, in which \"he expresses forms that didn't exist before,\" in what Goldberger describes as \"a mix of pragmatism and poetry.\"
Living in LA, Gehry knew and worked with many artists and filmmakers and developed as an artist as much as an architect, Goldberger says. Gehry thought of his work as built art and was more interested in \"creating highly expressive buildings.\" After the opening of Bilbao, \"his name was all but synonymous with expressive form making.\"
Goldberger said he found that the book project was almost as much about Gehry's clients as about the architect himself. Gehry's client relationships are really important. He's very flexible if he likes and trusts a client, Goldberger says. He'll use an iterative process and for some buildings, there could be hundreds of variations. He would show a client something at an early stage and then they work together to develop the ideas further. Gehry often wants to keep tweaking and changing the design, sometimes to the point of frustration for his client. Most important for Gehry is to have a sense of simpatico with his client. He wants to work with clients who believe in his type of work.
\"Goldberger's big, colorful biography is a tale of moxie and success in the New World . . . an encounter with an architect who is ambitious, cocky and clever--and [a guide who] will present him with a wry and trenchant perspective . . . An informative, startling journey into the inner sanctums of modern architecture's power structure.\"--Nicholas Fox Weber, The New York Times Book Review\"If you're interested in Frank Gehry, the creative force who has conjured up everything from the ebullient billows of the Bilbao Guggenheim to the strong lines of our very own Concord Pavilon from 1975, I can't recommend this expansive survey of his life and work too highly.\"--John King, San Fransisco Chronicle
\"A critically fluent, socially and psychologically acute, and well-constructed comprehensive biography, the first of the 'most famous architect in the world.' . . . With avid precision and invaluable insight, Goldberger charts the complicated, punishing battles Gehry waged to construct his ambitious, dreamworld buildings, from private homes to Guggenheim, Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Facebook headquarters, and beyond. The result is an involving work of significant architectural history and a discerning and affecting portrait of a daring and original master builder.\"--Donna Seaman, Booklist
\"A riveting storyteller and accomplished reporter . . . [Paul Goldberger] offers a comprehensive look at not only the stories behind Frank Gehry's acclaimed buildings but also the experiences and influences that shaped his life and work. His book is full of little-known facts about the Pritzker Prize-winner that will surprise the most knowledgable Gehry-philes.\"--Architectural Digest
\"[Goldberger] paints the architect as a down-to-earth sort who designs eminently functional buildings that respond to their surroundings, exhibit continuity with the past, and embrace Earthlings despite looking like crashed spaceships. He contextualizes Gehry's work with smart discussions of trends in modernism and the Los Angeles art scene that inspired such trends, and offers his usual shrewd, evocative insights.\"--Publishers Weekly
\"This is a proper biography, being as much about the personal life of Gehry as it is about his buildings. It reads well, mostly avoiding archi-speak and technicalities, preferring the clarity of plain English.\"--Architectural Record
STAMBERG: Frank Gehry's buildings are - wait for it - lovable, thrilling, audacious, glowing. They capture movement, energy, light. He's taken hits from other architects and critics over the years. The buildings don't work inside. They're too hard to construct. But stubbornly, passionately, he has held on to this goal to create buildings that inspire emotion.
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\"What drove me was my feeling that if an art museum isn't an important building, it wouldn't be important for the artist. They work in studios, give life to their work, and certainly want it to be shown in an important edifice.\" 59ce067264