Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 15.09.2015 - 528 Seiten

From Pulitzer Prize–winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger: an engaging, nuanced exploration of the life and work of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. This first full-fledged critical biography presents and evaluates the work of a man who has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture in his innovative use of materials, design, and form, and who is among the very few architects in history to be both respected by critics as a creative, cutting-edge force and embraced by the general public as a popular figure.

Building Art shows the full range of Gehry’s work, from early houses constructed of plywood and chain-link fencing to lamps made in the shape of fish to the triumphant success of such late projects as the spectacular art museum of glass in Paris. It tells the story behind Gehry’s own house, which upset his neighbors and excited the world with its mix of the traditional and the extraordinary, and recounts how Gehry came to design the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, his remarkable structure of swirling titanium that changed a declining city into a destination spot. Building Art also explains Gehry’s sixteen-year quest to complete Walt Disney Concert Hall, the beautiful, acoustically brilliant home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Although Gehry’s architecture has been written about widely, the story of his life has never been told in full detail. Here we come to know his Jewish immigrant family, his working-class Toronto childhood, his hours spent playing with blocks on his grandmother’s kitchen floor, his move to Los Angeles when he was still a teenager, and how he came, unexpectedly, to end up in architecture school. Most important, Building Art presents and evaluates Gehry’s lifetime of work in conjunction with his entire life story, including his time in the army and at Harvard, his long relationship with his psychiatrist and the impact it had on his work, and his two marriages and four children. It analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which a casual, amiable “aw, shucks” surface masks a driving and intense ambition. And it explores his relationship to Los Angeles and how its position as home to outsider artists gave him the freedom in his formative years to make the innovations that characterize his genius. Finally, it discusses his interest in using technology not just to change the way a building looks but to change the way the whole profession of architecture is practiced.

At once a sweeping view of a great architect and an intimate look at creative genius, Building Art is in many ways the saga of the architectural milieu of the twenty-first century. But most of all it is the compelling story of the man who first comes to mind when we think of the lasting possibilities of buildings as art. 


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Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

Nutzerbericht  - Publishers Weekly

Pulitzer-winning architecture critic Goldberger (Why Architecture Matters) finds no conflict between avant-garde aesthetics and practical buildings in this appreciative biography of celebrated ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

BUILDING ART: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

Nutzerbericht  - Kirkus

An admiring life of the celebrated architect who designed, among other notable structures, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Vanity Fair contributing ... Vollständige Rezension lesen


To Life in the Sun
Becoming an Architect
Dealing with Authority
Discovering Europe
Restart in Los Angeles
Independence 14
Easing the Edges
The Guggenheim and Bilbao
Trials and Triumphs
Frank at Eighty
The Legacy of Technology
From Dwight Eisenhower to Louis Vuitton
An Archive and a Legacy
In Paris Looking Back and Looking Forward

A House in Santa Monica
Fish and Other Shapes
Onto the World Stage
First Movement

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Über den Autor (2015)

PAUL GOLDBERGER, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, spent fifteen years as the architecture critic for The New Yorker and began his career at The New York Times, where he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism for his writing on architecture. He is the author of many books, most recently Why Architecture Matters, Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, and Up From Zero. He teaches at The New School and lectures widely around the country on architecture, design, historic preservation, and cities. He and his wife, Susan Solomon, live in New York City.

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