Ever since his wildly dramatic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, opened in 1997, Frank Gehry has been widely and justifiably considered the leading architect of our time. Although this ascension occurred seemingly overnight, it actually took more than half a century, counting architecture school and work in eight other offices before he opened his own firm in 1962. Since then, Gehry's designs have become increasingly freer and more inventive. He first explored existing design approaches such as Frank Lloyd Wright's, Southern California vernacular, minimalist modernism, and Miesian structuralism before blazing his own trail. This included corrugated cardboard furniture, chain-link fencing, unfinished metal siding, exposed wood studs, and other "cheapskate" materials; skewed geometries; and a recurring preoccupation with fishlike building forms. He learned to fragment buildings into discrete components (often making each room a structure unto itself), experiment with color, create forced perspectives, and, above all, bring natural light indoors masterfully. His recent designs tend to be baroque and romantic in ways never before seen, often resembling sails or abstracted flowers. Gehry's architecture is an art that involves great risk taking, and while not every design succeeds fully, his courage is exemplary and his batting average is surprisingly high.
For readers who truly want to know about Gehry, The Complete Works is indispensable. It documents 250 works, even early ones that other architects might conveniently omit, and the material is well illustrated on 614 oversized pages. Insightful essays by two eminent architectural scholars set the stage for this massive and unrivaled traversal of Gehry's designs. --John Pastier
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Francesco Dal Co is Director of Electa's architecture division and Professor of Architecture at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice. A renowned architecture historian and critic, he is also the editor of Casabella. He is the former Director of Architecture for the architecture section of the Venice Biennale. He is the author of many books, including The Modern City, Modern Architecture (with Manfredo Tafuri), Frank O. Gehry: The Complete Works (with Kurt W. Forster), and Tadao Ando, published by Phaidon. Kurt W. Forster is a distinguished professor and critic of architecture history. He was the founding director of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities from 1983 to 1992, and thereafter taught at the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture (ETH) in Zurich and was assistant director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Born and educated in Zurich, he studied at the universities of Berlin, Munich, and Zurich. He taught at Yale University (1960-67), Stanford University (1967-82), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has curated major exhibitions and contributed essays on Alberti, Giulio Romano, Palladio, Schinkel, and Le Corbusier, as well as completed case studies of the architecture of Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, Frank Gehry, and Raphael Moneo. Author's/Photographer's Residence: Francesco Dal Co: Venice, Italy; Kurt W. Forster: Como, Italy.