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.
Photo: David Lauridsen
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Featuring Gustavo Dudamel with YOLA, Julian Rose, and esperanza spalding
The eighth episode of Gagosian Premieres celebrates Frank Gehry: Spinning Tales—an exhibition of new work presented at Gagosian, Beverly Hills—featuring musical performances by esperanza spalding and Gustavo Dudamel and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), and a conversation between Frank Gehry and Julian Rose conducted in Gehry’s Los Angeles studio.
Frank Gehry: Fish Lamps
Paul Goldberger traces the history of the fish form throughout Frank Gehry’s career.
Frank Gehry Drawings
Frank Gehry speaks to Jean-Louis Cohen about the early years of his practice, including his work with LA artists, and the role of sketching in his design process. The first volume of the catalogue raisonné of the architect’s drawings, edited by Cohen, was published by Cahiers d’Art earlier this year.
The New World of Charlotte Perriand
Inspired by a visit to the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s exhibition Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World, William Middleton explores the life of this modernist pioneer and her impact on the worlds of design, art, and architecture.
Frank Gehry: Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris
Frank Gehry discusses the Fondation Louis Vuitton with Derek Blasberg.
Fairs, Events & Announcements
Los Angeles Philharmonic 2023–24
The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s twentieth-anniversary season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall will honor Frank Gehry, who designed the iconic venue. Planned celebrations include a gala and performance in October, a collaborative staging of Wagner’s Das Rheingold in January, and additional exhibits and commissions to be announced.
Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Artwork © Frank Gehry. Photo: Adam Latham, courtesy Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
February 19–March 20, 2022
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
Frank Gehry’s immersive installation Wishful Thinking (2021) is installed in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, following its debut at Gagosian, Beverly Hills, last year. Based on a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the work depicts the Mad Hatter’s tea party as a group of ten surreal figures, twice life-size. Fashioned from brilliantly painted metal, Gehry’s abstracted interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s characters surround an internally lit table, the glowing heart of the scene. Three overlapping woven steel “tapestries” of trees evoke the episode’s forest setting, while a mirror on the opposite wall implicates the viewer. The crumpled surfaces of Wishful Thinking’s figures establish a new visual connection with some of Gehry’s best-known designs. The installation is free and open to the public.
Frank Gehry, Wishful Thinking, 2021, installation view, Gagosian, Beverly Hills © Frank O. Gehry. Photo: Joshua White
Gallery Weekend LA
Frank Gehry, Albert Oehlen, Nancy Rubins
July 28–August 1, 2021
Gagosian is participating in the inaugural Gallery Weekend LA with three exhibitions. Frank Gehry: Spinning Tales and Nancy Rubins: Fluid Space, both on view at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills location, will be open for extended hours during Gallery Weekend LA (July 28: 10am–7pm; July 29–30: 10am–5:30pm; July 31–August 1: 12–6pm). Visitors can also see Albert Oehlen: Tramonto Spaventoso with an appointment, on view at Marciano Art Foundation (July 28–31: 11am–5pm). The event is organized through Gallery Association Los Angeles and galleryplatform.la and includes nearly eighty-five of the city’s leading contemporary art galleries and museums.
Frank Gehry, Wishful Thinking, 2021, installation view, Frank Gehry: Spinning Tales, Gagosian, Beverly Hills, 2021 © Frank O. Gehry. Photo: Joshua White
September 22, 2022–January 8, 2023
Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
Revisiting classic modernist ideas about flatness, idealized form, and colors, this exhibition opens up the seemingly reductive format of the monochrome to reveal its global resonance and creative possibilities while working toward a more expansive narrative of twentieth and twenty-first century art. Work by Alexander Calder, Walter De Maria, Helen Frankenthaler, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Sally Mann, and Richard Serra is included.
Sally Mann, The Bath, 1989 © Sally Mann
On the Edge
Los Angeles Art, 1970s–1990s, from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection
September 30, 2021–April 2, 2022
Bakersfield Museum of Art, California
This exhibition highlights 150 works from the collection of Joan and Jack Quinn, which was primarily amassed between the 1970s and the 1990s. Many of their holdings were collected directly from the artists and have never changed hands or been shown publicly. The artworks they were drawn to are defined by a spirit of nonconformity, a play of new materials, a celebration of light, and the “California cool” ethos. Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frank Gehry, and Ed Ruscha is included.
Ed Ruscha, Double Standard #36/40, 1969 © Ed Ruscha
Frank Gehry in
Berlin and Los Angeles: Space for Music
April 25, 2018–July 30, 2017
The Getty Center, Los Angeles
This exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the sister-city partnership between Berlin and Los Angeles by exploring two iconic buildings: the Berlin Philharmonic (1963), designed by Hans Scharoun, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003), designed by Frank Gehry. Focusing on the buildings’ extraordinary interiors, the exhibition brings together original drawings, sketches, prints, photographs, and models to convey each architect’s design process.
Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith