Frank Gehry in 2007
|Born||Frank Owen Goldberg
February 28, 1929
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Awards||AIA Gold Medal
National Medal of Arts
Order of Canada
|Practice||Gehry Partners, LLP|
|Buildings||Guggenheim Museum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gehry Residence, Weisman Art Museum, Dancing House, Art Gallery of Ontario, EMP/SFM, Cinémathèque française, 8 Spruce Street, Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Of Art|
His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".
Gehry's best-known works include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles; Experience Music Project in Seattle; Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis; Dancing House in Prague; the Vitra Design Museum and the museum MARTa Herford in Germany; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; the Cinémathèque française in Paris; and 8 Spruce Street in New York City. But it was his private residence in Santa Monica, California, which jump-started his career, lifting it from the status of "paper architecture"—a phenomenon that many famous architects have experienced in their formative decades through experimentation almost exclusively on paper before receiving their first major commission in later years. Gehry is also the designer of the future Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial.
Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg on February 28, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario to parents, Irwin and Thelma (née Thelma Caplan) Goldberg. His parents were Polish Jews. A creative child, he was encouraged by his grandmother, Mrs. Caplan, with whom he would build little cities out of scraps of wood. With these scraps from her husband's hardware store, she entertained him for hours, building imaginary houses and futuristic cities on the living room floor. His use of corrugated steel, chain link fencing, unpainted plywood and other utilitarian or "everyday" materials was partly inspired by spending Saturday mornings at his grandfather's hardware store. He would spend time drawing with his father and his mother introduced him to the world of art. "So the creative genes were there", Gehry says. "But my mother thought I was a dreamer, I wasn't gonna amount to anything. It was my father who thought I was just reticent to do things. He would push me."
In 1947 Gehry moved to California, got a job driving a delivery truck, and studied at Los Angeles City College, eventually to graduate from the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. According to Gehry: “I was a truck driver in L.A., going to City College, and I tried radio announcing, which I wasn't very good at. I tried chemical engineering, which I wasn't very good at and didn't like, and then I remembered. You know, somehow I just started racking my brain about, "What do I like?" Where was I? What made me excited? And I remembered art, that I loved going to museums and I loved looking at paintings, loved listening to music. Those things came from my mother, who took me to concerts and museums. I remembered Grandma and the blocks, and just on a hunch, I tried some architecture classes.” In 1952 he married Anita Snyder, and in 1956 he changed his name to Frank O. Gehry at her suggestion, in part because of the anti-semitism he had experienced as a child and as an undergraduate at USC. Gehry graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from USC in 1954. Afterwards, he spent time away from the field of architecture in numerous other jobs, including service in the United States Army. In the fall of 1956, he moved his family to Cambridge, where he studied city planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He left before completing the program, disheartened and underwhelmed. Gehry's left-wing ideas about socially responsible architecture were under-realized, and the final straw occurred when he sat in on a discussion of one professor's "secret project in progress" - a palace that he was designing for right-wing Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973). In 1966 he and Snyder divorced. In 1975 he married Panamanian Berta Isabel Aguilera, his current wife. He has two daughters from his first marriage, and two sons from his second marriage.
Having grown up in Canada, Gehry is a huge fan of ice hockey. He began a hockey league in his office, FOG (which stands for Frank Owen Gehry), though he no longer plays with them. In 2004, he designed the trophy for the World Cup of Hockey. Gehry holds dual citizenship in Canada and the United States. He lives in Santa Monica, California, and continues to practice out of Los Angeles.
Much of Gehry's work falls within the style of Deconstructivism, which is often referred to as post-structuralist in nature for its ability to go beyond current modalities of structural definition. In architecture, its application tends to depart from modernism in its inherent criticism of culturally inherited givens such as societal goals and functional necessity. Because of this, unlike early modernist structures, Deconstructivist structures are not required to reflect specific social or universal ideas, such as speed or universality of form, and they do not reflect a belief that form follows function. Gehry's own Santa Monica residence is a commonly cited example of deconstructivist architecture, as it was so drastically divorced from its original context, and in such a manner as to subvert its original spatial intention.
Gehry is sometimes associated with what is known as the "Los Angeles School" or the "Santa Monica School" of architecture. The appropriateness of this designation and the existence of such a school, however, remains controversial due to the lack of a unifying philosophy or theory. This designation stems from the Los Angeles area's producing a group of the most influential postmodern architects, including such notable Gehry contemporaries as Eric Owen Moss and Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne of Morphosis, as well as the famous schools of architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (co‑founded by Mayne), UCLA, and USC where Gehry is a member of the Board of Directors.
Gehry’s style at times seems unfinished or even crude, but his work is consistent with the California "funk" art movement in the 1960s and early 1970s, which featured the use of inexpensive found objects and non-traditional media such as clay to make serious art. Gehry has been called "the apostle of chain-link fencing and corrugated metal siding". However, a retrospective exhibit at New York's Whitney Museum in 1988 revealed that he is also a sophisticated classical artist, who knows European art history and contemporary sculpture and painting.
Reception of Gehry's work is 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 that the buildings waste structural resources by creating functionless forms, do not seem to belong in their surroundings and are apparently designed without accounting for the local climate.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
His proposed design for the national Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial has been severely criticised by Susan Eisenhower, who said that her entire family opposes it. Roger L. Lewis, an architect and a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, criticised and opposed the design in the Washington Post: "Building a quasi-fenced precinct makes no sense. The narrative theme relating to Eisenhower’s boyhood, so visually dominant in the present design, also makes no sense. Gehry instead could craft a less grandiose yet visually powerful memorial composition..." Columnist Richard Cohen wrote that the Memorial does not accurately capture Eisenhower's life. George F. Will also opposed the design in the Washington Post. The design has been criticised in The New Republic,National Review,Foreign Policy,Metropolis Magazine,The American Spectator, and The Washington Examiner.
However, Philip Kennicott, the Washington Post's culture critic, praised the design: "Gehry has produced a design that inverts several of the sacred hierarchies of the classical memorial, emphasising ideas of domesticity and interiority rather than masculine power and external display. He has 're-gendered' the vocabulary of memorialisation, giving it new life and vitality..."
Other notable aspects of career
Gehry is a Distinguished Professor of Architecture at Columbia University and teaches advanced design studios at the Yale School of Architecture. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from Occidental College, Whittier College, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the University of Toronto, the California College of Arts and Crafts, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, the Rhode Island School of Design, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Otis Art Institute at the Parsons School of Design. In 1982 and 1989, he held the Charlotte Davenport Professorship in Architecture at Yale University. In 1984, he held the Eliot Noyes Chair at Harvard University. In January 2011 he joined the University of Southern California (USC) faculty, as the Judge Widney Professor of Architecture.
Gehry has gained a reputation for taking the budgets of his clients seriously, in an industry where complex and innovative designs like Gehry's typically go over budget. Sydney Opera House, which has been compared with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in terms of architectural innovation, had a cost overrun of 1,400 percent. Gehry explained how he did it. First, he ensured that what he calls the "organization of the artist" prevailed during construction, in order to prevent political and business interests from interfering with the design. Second, he made sure he had a detailed and realistic cost estimate before proceeding. Third, he used CATIA (computer-aided three-dimensional interactive application) and close collaboration with the individual building trades to control costs during construction.
However, not all of Gehry's projects have gone smoothly. The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles resulted in over 10,000 RFIs (requests for information) and was $174 million over budget. Furthermore, there was a dispute which ended with a $17.8 million settlement.
Gehry is considered a modern architectural icon and celebrity, a major "Starchitect" — a neologism describing the phenomenon of architects attaining a sort of celebrity status. Although Gehry has been a vocal opponent of the term, it usually refers to architects known for dramatic, influential designs that often achieve fame and notoriety through their spectacular effect. Other notable celebrity architects include Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Thom Mayne, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, and Norman Foster. Gehry came to the attention of the public in 1972 with his "Easy Edges" cardboard furniture. He has appeared in Apple's black-and-white "Think Different" pictorial ad campaign that associates offbeat but revered figures with Apple's design philosophy. He even once appeared as himself in The Simpsons in the episode "The Seven-Beer Snitch", where he parodied himself by intimating that his ideas are derived by looking at a crumpled paper ball. He also voiced himself on the TV show Arthur, where he helped Arthur and his friends design a new treehouse. Steve Sample, President of the University of Southern California, told Gehry that "...After George Lucas, you are our most prominent graduate". In 2009 Gehry designed a hat for pop star Lady Gaga, reportedly by using his iPhone.
In 2005, veteran film director Sydney Pollack, a friend of Gehry's, made the documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry with appreciative comments by Philip Johnson, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, and Dennis Hopper, and critical ones by Hal Foster supplementing dialogue between Gehry and Pollack about their work in two collaborative art forms with considerable commercial constraints and photography of some buildings Gehry designed. It was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on August 22, 2006, together with an interview of Sydney Pollack by fellow director Alexander Payne and some audience questions following the premiere of the film.
Fish and furniture
Gehry is very much inspired by fish. Not only do they appear in his buildings, he created a line of jewelry, household items, and sculptures based on this motif. "It was by accident I got into the fish image", claimed Gehry. One thing that sparked his interest in fish was the fact that his colleagues are recreating Greek temples. He said, "Three hundred million years before man was fish....if you gotta go back, and you're insecure about going forward...go back three hundred million years ago. Why are you stopping at the Greeks? So I started drawing fish in my sketchbook, and then I started to realize that there was something in it."
Standing Glass Fish is just one of many works featuring fish which Gehry has created. The gigantic fish is made of glass plates and silicone, with the internal supporting structure of wood and steel clearly visible. It soars above a reflecting pool in a glass building built especially for it, in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Another huge Gehry fish sculpture, built in 1992, is located in front of the Port Olímpic, in Barcelona, Spain, and another one dominates a public garden in front of the Fishdance Restaurant in Kobe, Japan.
In addition to architecture, Gehry has made a line of furniture, jewelry for Tiffany & Co., various household items, sculptures, and even a glass bottle for Wyborowa Vodka. His first line of furniture, produced from 1969 to 1973, was called "Easy Edges", constructed out of cardboard. Another line of furniture released in the spring of 1992 is "Bentwood Furniture". Each piece is named after a different hockey term. He was first introduced to making furniture in 1954 while serving in the U.S. Army, where he designed furniture for the enlisted soldiers. Gehry claims that making furniture is his "quick fix".
Awards and honors
- 1989 - Pritzker Architecture Prize
- 1992 - Praemium Imperiale
- 1994 - The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
- 1995 - Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award
- 1998 - National Medal of Arts
- 1999 - AIA Gold Medal
- 2000 - Cooper–Hewitt National Design Award Lifetime Achievement
- 2003 - Order of Canada
- 2004 - Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
- 2006 - Inductee, California Hall of Fame
- 2007 - Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology (on behalf of Gehry Partners and Gehry Technologies)
- 2008 - Order of Charlemagne (declined honor)
- 2012 - Twenty-five Year Award
Gehry was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1974, and he has received many national, regional and local AIA awards. He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and serves on the steering committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
- 1987 - California Institute of the Arts
- 1987 - Rhode Island School of Design
- 1989 - Otis College of Art and Design
- 1989 - Technical University of Nova Scotia
- 1993 - Occidental College
- 1995 - Whittier College
- 1997 - Southern California Institute of Architecture
- 1998 - University of Toronto
- 2000 - Harvard University
- 2000 - University of Edinburgh
- 2000 - University of Southern California
- 2000 - Yale University
- 2002 - City College of New York
- 2004 - Art Institute of Chicago
- "Frank Gehry clears the air", Globe and Mail, July 28, 2010
- Tyrnauer, Matt (30 June 2010). "Architecture in the Age of Gehry". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- for the design, see: http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/design.htm
- Chollet, Laurence B. (2001). The Essential Frank O. Gehry. New York, NY: The Wonderland Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-8109-5829-5.
- "In the News: Warsaw Jewish Museum In Poland". Isurvived.org. 2005-06-30. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Karen Templer (1999-12-05). "Frank Gehry". Salon. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- Richard Lacayo. Missing or empty
- Biography and Video Interview of Frank Gehry at Academy of Achievement
- (B. Adams)
- "Hal Foster reviews ‘Frank Gehry’ edited by Jean-Louis Cohen et al · LRB 23 August 2001". Lrb.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Favermann, Mark. "MIT Sues Architect Frank Gehry Over Flaws at Stata Center". Berkshire Fine Arts. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Hopkins, Christopher. "How Should We Remember Ike?". National Journal.
- Pogrebin, Robin (2012-02-06). "Eisenhower as Barefoot Boy? Family Objects to a Memorial". New York Times.
- Lewis, Roger K. (2012-04-06). "Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial design needs to be rethought". Washington Post.
- Cohen, Richard (2012-04-09). "With Eisenhower, Art Does Not Imitate His Life". Washington Post.
- Will, George F. (2012-02-17). "Eisenhower Memorial misses the man". Washington Post.
- Kabaservice, Geoffrey. "Why Won’t the GOP Stick Up For Dwight Eisenhower?". The New Republic.
- Weigel, George. "Gehry’s Ghastly Eisenhower Memorial". National Review.
- Walt, Stephen M. "Who likes Ike? Not Frank Gehry". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Krier, Leon. "Eisenhower Memorial, Washington, D.C.". Metropolis Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Scruton, Roger. "Monumental Egos". The American Spectator. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Cole, Bruce. "Proposed memorial is an insult to Eisenhower". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Kennicott, Philip (2011-12-17). "Review: Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial reinvigorates the genre". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- USC News (2011-01-18). "Architect Frank Gehry Named Judge Widney Professor". Retrieved 2011-01-18.
- Greiner, Andrew (2009-12-08). "Frank Gehry Designed Lady Gaga's hat". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- "American Masters: Frank Gehry". Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- "Furniture designs". Retrieved 2008-11-17.[dead link]
- "New York Times: Frank Gehry's Software Keeps Buildings on Budget". Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Lifetime Honors - National Medal of Arts". Nea.gov. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Lifetime Achievement Winner: Frank Gehry". Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
- Isenberg, Barbara; Gehry, Frank O. (2009). Conversations with Frank Gehry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-307-26800-4. ISBN 978-0-307-26800-6
- Sketches of Frank Gehry - Documentary
- Gehry, Frank O.; Colomina, Beatriz; Friedman, Mildred; Mitchell, William J.; Ragheb, J. Fiona; Cohen, Jean-Louis; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (Corporate Author); Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (Corporate Author) (May 2001). Frank Gehry Architect (Hardcover ). Guggenheim Museum Pubns. p. 390. ISBN 0-8109-6929-7. ISBN 97808109692
- El Croquis 74/75 1995
- Architects Today - Laurence King Publishers
- Dal Co, Francesco; Forster, Kurt W.; Arnold, Hadley (1998). Frank O. Gehry: The Complete Works. New York, NY: The Monacelli Press. ISBN 1-885254-63-6. ISBN 978-1-885254-63-4.
- Bletter, Rosemarie Haag; Walker Art Center (1986). The Architecture of Frank Gehry. New York, NY: Rizzoli. p. 215. ISBN 0-8478-0763-0. ISBN 978-0-8478-0763-5.
- Cohen, Jean-Louis (July 2, 2003, 2001). Frank O. Gehry: The Art of Architecture (PaperbackGuggenheim Museum. p. 384. ISBN 0-89207-277-6.). New York, NY: ISBN 978089207277.
- Friedman, Mildred (ed.); Sorkin, Michael (December 17, 1999). Gehry Talks: Architecture + Process (HardcoverISBN 0-8478-2165-X.) (1st ed.). New York, NY: Rizzoli. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-8478-2165-5.
- Richardson, Sara S. (-1987). Frank O. Gehry: A Bibliography. Monticello, Ill.: Vance Bibliographies. ISBN 1-55590-145-X.
- van Bruggen, Coosje (December 30, 1999). Frank O. Gehry: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (HardcoverISBN 0-8109-6907-6.) (1st ed.). New York, NY: Guggenheim Museum Pubns. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-8109-6907-0.
- O. Gehry, Frank (2004). Gehry Draws. Violette Editions. p. 544. ISBN 978-1-900828-10-9.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Frank Gehry|
- Gehry Partners, LLP, Gehry's architecture firm
- Gehry Technologies, Inc., Gehry's technology firm
- Frank Gehry at TED
- Frank Gehry on Charlie Rose
- Frank Gehry at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Frank Gehry in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Frank Gehry collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Frank Gehry collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Fish Forms: Lamps by Frank Gehry Exhibition (2010) at The Jewish Museum (New York)
- STORIES OF HOUSES: Frank Gehry's House in California
- Bidding for the National Art Museum of China’s new site
- Gehry Draws on Violette Editions
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