After seeing pictures of buildings by the unusual French architect Le Corbusier, young Frank Gehry realized that it was possible to break away from the square box of most buildings. "That's when I threw the grid away, and said, 'Man, there's another freedom out there, and that's the place I want to be.'" As anyone who has ever seen the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington, will quickly realize, Gehry has never looked back. Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, coauthors of Chuck Close Up Close
and The American Eye
, among other acclaimed titles, take a look at a most remarkable architect and his work. Frank O. Gehry: Outside In
is filled with provocative quotations from Gehry, which are pulled out and repeated in large, colorful type: "Life is chaotic, dangerous, and surprising. Buildings should reflect it." "I work intuitively. I just jump in and learn to swim later." The text is scintillating and informative, with side boxes giving tips on how to view buildings from an architectural point of view. There are also photographs, lots of them, of Gehry's fantastic projects, from cardboard furniture to the "Fred and Ginger" building in Prague, to fish-shaped lamps; as well as his incredibly scrawly sketches. Movement and energy are at the core of every Frank O. Gehry design; this book reflects his vigor and, happily, may inspire a new generation of rule-benders. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Architectural maverick Gehry is both subject and inspiration for this visual feast by accomplished biographers Greenberg and Jordan (Chuck Close: Up Close). Mirroring the architect's vision of life and buildings as chaotic, the book's layout jumbles chapter headings, dramatic photographs and Gehry's own kinetic sketches with flair. Excellent textual accounts of the architect's childhood offer background to such career highlights as the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Prague's "Fred and Ginger" building and his spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, especially when describing a beloved grandmother's influence and the struggling young architect's professional bravado. Instructive sidebars add interest, as do a bibliography, glossary, short list of buildings and brief visual overview of the three-dimensional computer-imaging program that made Bilbao's museum possible. Unfortunately, the penetrating analysis of the creative process that made the Close biography so compelling has been supplanted by flashy photographs and Geary's own narcissistic remarks; the volume may ultimately leave readers entertained rather than enlightened. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.