Abstract Metal Wall Art by Jon Allen

Modern architect Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry architecture

Marques de Riscal Vineyard Hotel

Frank Gehry was born in Toronto in 1929 and moved to Los Angeles in 1947. After he arrived in LA, he worked as a truck driver and a radio announcer. He loved art, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He certainly didn’t plan to be a famous architect when he attended Los Angeles City College, or even when he enrolled in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. But he did become a famous architect—one of the few contemporary architects, in fact, who has achieved superstar status, to the point that his name and work are known well outside the field.

Gehry’s style is a clear example of Deconstructivism, an architectural movement influenced by the philosopher Jacques Derrida and art movements like Cubism, Futurism and constructivism. Deconstructivism is philosophically opposed to Postmodernism, which valued architecture in which a building’s function was obviously presented in its form. Deconstructivist architecture, conversely, likes complex designs characterized by a fragmentation and re-assembly of forms, much in the same vein as Cubist fragmentation of images.

Gehry’s work is most well known for its emphasis on materials, whether those materials are humble plywood and chain link or gleaming titanium and stainless steel. His most famous buildings include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago; and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

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