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. From the Hardcover edition.



ISBN: 9780307946393
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 528
Publication Date: 13 Nov 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication City, Country: New York, United States
Dimensions (cm): 23.2(H) x 16(L) x 2.7(W)
Weight (gm): 674



"Fascinating. . . . An informative, startling journey into the inner sanctums of modern architecture's power structure." --The New York Times Book Review

"Revealing. . . . A penetrating portrait." --Morning Edition/NPR

"Riveting. . . . Full of little-known facts about the Pritzker Prize-winner that will surprise the most knowledgable Gehry-philes." --Architectural Digest

"Excellent and comprehensive. . . . Undeniably fascinating." --Bloomberg

"Terrifically readable. . . . Satisfying detail on Gehry's career path and hugely complex personality." --Los Angeles Times

"Convey[s] the architect's personality and process with deft strokes that have an artistic ease of their own. . . . If you're intrigued by Frank Gehry . . . I can't recommend this expansive survey of his life and work too highly." --John King, San Francisco Chronicle

"Fascinating. . . . Agilely balances the disparate subjects of art and biography. Goldberger's critical assessments of Gehry's designs are insightful and often riveting." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Critically fluent, socially and psychologically acute. . . . An involving work of significant architectural history and a discerning and affecting portrait of a daring and original master builder." --Booklist (starred review)

"This full-length critical study of an important contemporary architect is by one of our finest architectural critics. . . . [An] outstanding volume. . . . Highly recommended." --Library Journal (starred review)

"Richly researched, intelligent, and graceful." --Kirkus Reviews

"[Goldberger] 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 into the look and feel of buildings." --Publishers Weekly


Author Biography

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. From the Hardcover edition.
Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

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