Frank Gehry, aged 86, and still as much of an architectural phenom as he ever was, has the following quote attributed to him on a white wall inside the exhibit at LACMA dedicated to his proficient and prolific artistry:
“I had a funny notion that you could make architecture that you would bump into before you would realize it was architecture.”
Inside the three-adjacent roomed presentation of Gehry’s works are sketches and miniature-sized layouts of the visions he had in mind before they became ensconced in the topography of metropolises throughout the world. These include the Dwight Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., Loyola Law School, Prospect Place at Battersea Power Station in London, the Louis Vuitton headquarters in Paris, DZ Bank in Berlin, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Facebook campus in Menlo Park.
The Canadian-born Gehry, who started out as a truck driver before getting his B.A. in Architecture at USC, was eventually driven to establish his own socially-responsible architectural business in Southern California in 1962.
In truth, since then Gehry has constructed his models with the element of fusion in mind—to be structurally faithful to not only the buildings, but the settings in which they are to complement for the ultimate purpose of mutual harmony.
In order to serve the urban environment in which they are located, however, each room within a building has had to exist individually yet also thrive in their attachment and interrelation to other rooms and structures. Essentially, a whole composition for Gehry has always been literally comprised of the sum of its discrete parts. As such, Gehry’s sensitivity to urbanism begins with how each wall “interacts” with another in every one of his creations. This necessarily precedes their coalescence with the physical areas on which they are built.
Undoubtedly, when one walks around and curiously observes each model at the exhibit, it becomes clear how Gehry has expertly used regular industrial materials to invent edifices that are both mathematical marvels and humanized works. It’s difficult to believe how steel beams, concrete, glass, and drywall can stir the human spirit, though Gehry pieces them like grand puzzles that fit seamlessly with the surrounding trees, flowers, grass, and city streets.
And as Gehry’s quote has perfectly illustrated, one might see his buildings as being inextricable from the natural order of the environment. That is art of the highest echelon.
Visit lacma.org/node/21616 for more details.
Photos courtesy LACMA.
Home page photo courtesy inhabitat.com.
Latest posts by Imaan Jalali (see all)
- Southern California’s Signature Stairways - May 22, 2017
- 5 Top Golf Courses to Birdie, Bogie and Backswing in SoCal - May 1, 2017
- SKIN Exhibit Has Important Message on Diversity - April 3, 2016