Frank Gehry (American, b. 1929)
The designs of Frank Gehry—one of the most innovative architects working today—grace numerous metropolitan skylines around the world. Known for their deconstructivist approach and creative use of materials, his buildings incorporate a wealth of textures that lend a sense of movement to his dynamic structures. Early in his career, Gehry created both sculpture and furniture, which similarly reflected his concern with inventive forms made from unexpected materials. The Easy Edges (1969–73) and Experimental Edges (1979–82) series of chairs and tables were made of industrial corrugated cardboard, while a later Knoll furniture series (1989–92) was made from pliable bentwood. Gehry was commissioned by the Formica Corporation to use a translucent plastic laminate, ColorCore, in a series of lamps consisting of radiant snake and fish forms (1983–86). The fish has been a recurring motif in Gehry’s work, recognizable in the undulating, curvilinear forms of his architecture as well as various sculpture projects, including his Fish Sculpture at Vila Olímpica in Barcelona, Spain (1989–92), and his Standing Glass Fish for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (1986). The first Fish Lamps were shown in Frank Gehry: Unique Lamps in 1984 at the former Robertson Boulevard location of Gagosian in Los Angeles.
Gehry was born in 1929 in Toronto. He received a BA in 1954 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and an MA in 1956 from Harvard University, Massachusetts. Gehry’s drawings, models, designs, and sculptures have been exhibited in major museums throughout the world. Recent solo exhibitions include Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2001); Frank Gehry, Architect: Designs for Museums, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis (2003, traveled to Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC); Frank O. Gehry since 1997, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany (2010); Voyage of Creation, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2014); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2015); Architect Frank Gehry: I Have an Idea, 21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo (2015); and Building in Paris, Espace Louis Vuitton, Venice (2016). Among Gehry’s most celebrated buildings are the Vitra International Manufacturing Facility and Design Museum, Germany (1989); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (1997); Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (2003); University of Technology Sydney Business School (2015); and Facebook HQ, Menlo Park, California (2015).
Gehry has received numerous awards and honors, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989); Wolf Prize in Arts (1992); Praemium Imperiale in Architecture, Japan Art Association (1992); Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (1994); Chrysler Design Award (1995); US National Medal of Arts (1998); Gold Medal, American Institute of Architects (1999); Royal Gold Medal, Royal Institute of British Architects (2000); Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts (2000); Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology (2007); and US Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016).
Gehry lives and works in Los Angeles.