Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American architect, known for his characteristic postmodern design. His eccentric works are probably among the most iconic and distinguishable examples of contemporary architecture and design.
Frank Gehry, in full Frank Owen Gehry, born Ephraim Owen Goldberg (born February 28, 1929, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), is a Canadian-American architect and designer renowned for his daring, art piece-like and more often than not “bizarre” designs, earning him worldwide admiration.
During his youth, Gehry’s family immigrated to Los Angeles in 1947, when Gehry himself was only eighteen; there, he enrolled the University of Southern California (1949–51; 1954) to study architecture, later getting interested in city planning and entering Harvard University (1956–57). After graduation, he’d start working for several architectural firms, before, in 1962, enstablishing his own company, Frank O. Gehry & Associates, and precisely four decades later, 2002, rebuilding it as its own successor, Gehry Partners.
Gehry started making a name for himself via a line of furniture called Easy Edges, and from there began to receive commissions for high-end design buildings, such as the Rouse Company headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, and the Santa Monica Place shopping mall.
Gehry’s style may sometime seem unfinished or even crude, but his work is consistent with the California “funk” art movement spreading in the 1960 and early 1970, which featured the use of inexpensive, “found objects”, and non-traditional media – such as clay – to make art pieces.
Gehry has been called, among others, “the apostle of chain-link fencing and corrugated metal siding“. However, one must not take a reductive, solely (post) modern approach to Gehry’s work: a retrospective exhibit at New York’s Whitney Museum, in 1988, revealed his sophisticated, classical artist roots, knowledgeable of European art history and contemporary sculpture and painting alike.