Author(s): Paul Goldberger
From one of our foremost architectural writers: an engaging, brilliant exploration of the life and work of the most famous architect of our time, and one of the few architects ever to be widely admired by both critics and the general public. This first full-fledged critical biography of Frank Gehry presents and evaluates the work of a man whom fifty architects, critics, and historians assembled by"Vanity Fair"designated "the most important architect in the world." It discusses at length his major buildings: from his own house--an "exploded" Dutch Colonial in Santa Monica--to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture. It considers the work in light of Gehry's personal life: the influence of his immigrant grandparents, his two marriages, his close relationships to an unusual circle of celebrated clients and friends, his longtime therapist. It analyzes his carefully created "aw, shucks" persona and the intense ambition it masks; examines Gehry's anxieties about fame and how his "outsider" status as a Los Angeles architect allowed him to experiment in useful ways; and finally discusses how he thinks about and employs technology to change not just the way a building can look but the way architecture itself is practiced."
"Goldberger's big, colorful biography is a tale of moxie and success in the New World . . . an encounter with an architect who is ambitious, cocky and clever--and [a guide who] will present him with a wry and trenchant perspective . . . An informative, startling journey into the inner sanctums of modern architecture's power structure."--Nicholas Fox Weber, The New York Times Book Review "If you're interested in Frank Gehry, the creative force who has conjured up everything from the ebullient billows of the Bilbao Guggenheim to the strong lines of our very own Concord Pavilon from 1975, I can't recommend this expansive survey of his life and work too highly."--John King, San Fransisco Chronicle"An enthralling story . . . more gripping than any novel . . . Gives a deep insight into the life of a revolutionary architect and modern architecture. Both architects and lay people who are itnerested in arts and architecture will benefit from it."--The Washington Post Book Review "Excellent, comprehensive [and] undeniably fascinating . . . Mirroring the rise of contemporary architecture, Gehry emerges from the constraints of mid-century modernism, grapples with questions of urban development and human scale . . . To a remarkable extent, he seems to have found a language of his own, which he can finally and fully articulate."--James Tarmy, Bloomberg Business"Fascinating . . . Agilely balances the disparate subjects of art and biography. Goldberger's critical assessments of Gehry's designs are insightful and often riveting, but he does not neglect the prosaic details of the man's personal life."--Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch"A big biography . . . penetrating . . . revealing"-Susan Stamberg, NPR"A critically fluent, socially and psychologically acute, and well-constructed comprehensive biography, the first of the 'most famous architect in the world.' . . . With avid precision and invaluable insight, Goldberger charts the complicated, punishing battles Gehry waged to construct his ambitious, dreamworld buildings, from private homes to Guggenheim, Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Facebook headquarters, and beyond. The result is an involving work of significant architectural history and a discerning and affecting portrait of a daring and original master builder."--Donna Seaman, Booklist "A riveting storyteller and accomplished reporter . . . [Paul Goldberger] offers a comprehensive look at not only the stories behind Frank Gehry's acclaimed buildings but also the experiences and influences that shaped his life and work. His book is full of little-known facts about the Pritzker Prize-winner that will surprise the most knowledgable Gehry-philes."--Architectural Digest "Terrifically readable . . . satisfying detail on Gehry's career path and hugely complex personality."--Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times "[Goldberger] paints the architect as a down-to-earth sort who designs eminently functional buildings that respond to their surroundings, exhibit continuity with the past, and embrace Earthlings despite looking like crashed spaceships. He contextualizes Gehry's work with smart discussions of trends in modernism and the Los Angeles art scene that inspired such trends, and offers his usual shrewd, evocative insights."--Publishers Weekly"This is a proper biography, being as much about the personal life of Gehry as it is about his buildings. It reads well, mostly avoiding archi-speak and technicalities, preferring the clarity of plain English."--Architectural Record"Goldberger interrogates the peculiar psyche and restless contradictions of the man to shed light on the motivations behind the architecture."--Samuel Medina, Metropolis"Wonderfully detailed . . . gregariously fascinating . . . invaluable . . . All future biographies will be indebted to Goldberger's groundbreaking, affectionate work."--Steve Donohghue, Open Letters Monthly "Richly researched, intelligent, and graceful."--Kirkus Reviews
Paul Goldberger, a contributing editor at "Vanity Fair, "spent fifteen years as the architecture critic for "The New Yorker" and began his career at" The New York Times, "where he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism for his writing on architecture. He is the author of many books, most recently, "Why Architecture Matters, Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, "and "Up From Zero. "He teaches at the New School and lectures widely around the country on architecture, design, historic preservation, and cities. He and his wife, Susan Solomon, live in New York City.