Saturday, 20 May 2006

Frank Gehry on film

Those who appreciate the architectural charlatan that is Frank Gehry -- known for screwing up bits of paper and telling his draughtsmen to turn the crumpled mess into a building (which he denies) -- will be interested in Sydney Pollacks' film tribute to the fraud. A trailer for the film can be seen here. The official site for the film is here. [Hat tip Butterpaper Australasia]

The man's latest rejected work is shown at left and below, the proposed $400 million new Guggenheim Museum for New York. Frank Lloyd Wright it is not. Apparently at one exhibition of the model (below) Gehry insisted it had been displayed back to front ... although he wasn't entirely sure...

An unsympathetic description of the expensive and sorry mess can be found in a piece by Robert Tracinscki, with which I wholeheartedly concur:
For a man feted as the greatest living architect, Gehry's style is surprisingly one-note. Almost all of his buildings look like giant piles of crumpled tin foil. Their most interesting feature -- the interior spaces tend to be giant blank boxes -- is an exterior cladding of titanium sheets folded into wild, discombobulated shapes. These are supposedly works of "abstract sculpture," but in fact they are carefully designed to achieve a specific effect: not to look elegant or graceful, but to look jumbled, chaotic, nonsensical.

Gehry's proposed design looked very much like a fake wrecked building -- which the Guggenheim Foundation was proposing to build in a city so recently home to the real thing. This effect was highlighted by the fact that Gehry's New York Guggenheim was to be much taller than his other piles of twisted metal, looming 400 feet above the East River and looking like a crumpled skyscraper.
Read more criticism here. Or a more positive assessment here.

LINKS: Sketches of Frank Gehry - Apple.Com
Sketches of Frank Gehry - Sony Pictures
Goodbye to Frank Gehry's bad joke - Robert Tracinscki
Wrap session - criticism of Frank Gehry's work and career - ArtForum

TAGS: Architecture, Art, Films, History-Modern


  1. I am sure I saw stuff like this at our kindergarten. I wonder if gehry had the same teacher?

  2. I'd still take his Bilbao over our Te-Papa any day.


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