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Frank Gehry PBS special
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:26 pm
Not sure if anyone saw this on PBS?
""Sketches of Frank Gehry" Episode #1908.
Architect Frank Gehry's designs blur the line between art and architecture, evident at the Guggenheim Museum and the Experience Music Project; director Sydney Pollack."
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:34 pm
I had been wanting to see this since it was made. I watched it tonight and well.. Personally, I still do not like or get Gehry's stuff. I think it is very cool that he is able (with the help of a LOT of people) get these buildings designed and built. But I just do not get them at all.
In the Documentary they discuss how it seems that really the buildings are just artistic sculptures. Or something along those lines. I would tend to agree.
His house is awful. Just stuff everywhere.. The idea of what he did is interesting, but how it ended up.. really different..
A few interesting parts of the documentary to me, were about how he began. His thoughts on the buildings before and after completion. The how to, and the process.. But the buildings..? Yikes.. Different..
Just my opinion.
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:30 am
I never got Gehry's stuff until I saw it in person. I've seen his house, the Disney Hall, the EMP music experience, the Disney Hockey Rink, Disneyland Administration Building, and the Business School at Case Western Reserve Univers$ity in Cleveland.
I found his buildings to be stunning visually and strangely practical. They do not photograph or film well (as Philip Johnson pointed out in this film) and are really works of art unto themselves. FLLW's true gift was with space, and Gehry is excellent with it as well in a totally different way. When you see his house in Santa Monica, it is very amazing to see and provactive. The hockey rink interior is a masterpiece that cannot be fully appreciated unless you are there. The Disney Hall gives the moving feeling of music and even incorporates its own outdoor theatre and a nice little park (not shown in the film).
Gehry's people have also revolutionized CAD design and, as a result, his buildings come in on budget and time.
I've said elsewhere on this chatboard that what I admire most about Gehry is his unorthodoxy in his appraoch. He is a true original who invented his own genre that is hard to truly catagorize unless its by its own terms, much like our friend Frank Lloyd Wright.
A lot architects I know hate Gehry or snicker at him. My reply to them is..."well, what the hell have you done? Another McMansion or glassed rectangle office building?"
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:22 am
Just some random thoughts after watching last nights film. It did have a large impact on me.
I am not a fan of Gehry but some of the images were off the chart.
The interior and some of the exterior of Bilbao is incredible. However, who is going to notice the artwork? Mercifully, he did design some of the display areas to be devoid of his own artwork. I would imagine for an artist to walk through the space to get to his/her own work would be depressing. As an artist, you would pass through this soaring, amazing intergallactical space and then come to your 3x5 painting. Yikes! Can't be fun. (Huge ego here but I don't think you would pick up on this just by talking with him - much to his credit. He is very selfeffacing.) Did he serve the artists? The Guggenheim was very innovative but I don't think it distracts from the viewing experience.
Great quip about how this is an alien building that was dropped down a hundred years ago...
Several times during the film, he exclaimed "how do they let me do this?" after viewing the finished products. He is even bewildered.
An interesting excercise might be to eliminate much of the melting and twisting and see how some of his projects hold up. Good architect's master's thesis. Its all on cad. Easy fun project and I am sure he would be helpful.
I am not an architecht. But I am handy as he says he was. Get me some construction paper, a pair of scissors, some Scotch tape and I am willing to give it a crack. His design sessions looked like a great time. I will keep all of you posted as to my progress.
He is a great sculptor who has been given license to do his thing with buildings. Archisculpture? Is this the "wave" of the future. The fish sculptures were great by the way.
I do like his stuff much more now after seeing the film. The whole concept is still a headscratcher though.
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:25 am
I have yet to experience any of Gehry
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:53 am
I have always tried to be objective about Gehry's work ever since I saw his own "chain link" home in Santa Monica. I still have a problem with his obsessive willingness to blur the line between architecture and sculpture, and that so much of the result is from a trial and error process which almost anyone given the opportunity could "play" with.
He and his staff spend all their time manipulating models like clay, and I really believe the works are done more as sculpture than an honest attempt at advancing architecture. Unfortunately, I suppose there is an argument that as long as it covers "space", it is architecture.
My feeling is that there is a disrespect for architecture inherent in the bombastic fantasies of Gehry, Graves, and others who have polluted sites with deconstuctivism, post whateverism, etc., as opposed to the work of Nervi and Calavera, for example. Johnson's comments mean no more today than 60 years ago when he failed to understand Wright.
I never had the reverence for Bilbao those more enlightened than me seem to have. It is just the Experience Music Project with a bigger budget. What could he create without a computer? The answer is the simplistic, amateurish, theoretical buildings of his youth.
I do agree with his flippant remark that if you are going to go back to ancient Greece, you might as well go back to "fish", and he is a much better product designer than architect.
Mr. Gehry revisited
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:06 pm
I have followed the work of Frank Gehry from the early days of his house in So Cal. There is something very appealing about the work. There is an early parking garage with chain link fence siding and an identifying sign as part of the chain link. The law school he designed in LA is a wonderful assembly of structures as sort of a neo-village. In Cleveland we have the Weatherhead School, which is a wonderfully sculptural event.
I am not so sure we have to maintain a distance between acrchitecture and sculpture. The interior space is quite interesting with the classroom lecture halls as pods within a larger space. But all in all I can not help thinking of Gehry as a flavor of the month. Everyone wants a Bilboa look to their Gehry. I keep waiting for the evolution of his style.
RE: PBS Doc'y on Frank Gehry
Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:20 am
I was struck by Gehry's discussion of the childhood experience that may have subconsciously put him on the path to becoming an architect: building things with wood pieces his aunt brought him. I instantly thought of the Froebel blocks that inspired FLLW. Good lesson to all parents who want their kids to be architects.