Frank Gehry: Outside In

Overview

Discover the story behind a visionary architect.

"Life is chaotic. Buildings should reflect it."

So says Frank O. Gehry, architect of one of the most acclaimed and influential buildings of the past century, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Winner of more than one hundred awards for his work, Gehry has a remarkable gift for changing the ordinary into the amazing. His buildings surge with energy and movement, revealing forms never before ...

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Overview

Discover the story behind a visionary architect.

"Life is chaotic. Buildings should reflect it."

So says Frank O. Gehry, architect of one of the most acclaimed and influential buildings of the past century, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Winner of more than one hundred awards for his work, Gehry has a remarkable gift for changing the ordinary into the amazing. His buildings surge with energy and movement, revealing forms never before seen in architecture.

Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, award winners in their own right for their acclaimed Chuck Close, Up Close, take us into Gehry's world-from his early years in Canada as the son of Polish immigrants, to his earliest efforts at architecture, to the Guggenheim Bilbao and beyond. Strikingly designed and full of provocative sidebars as well as a glossary and a list of building locations, this is a book that anyone interested in buildings, or popular culture, or the future, will cherish.

A visual feast....excellent textual accounts of the architect's childhood... (Publishers Weekly)

... sophisticated yet welcoming-like the architecture of its subject... (Riverbank review)

A well-designed biography. The text is conceptually sophisticated. Young readers will find much to absorb in this clear, elegant portrait. (Booklist)

This stunning profile of the avant-garde architect is like one of his buildings—exciting, startling, and awesome. Greenberg and Jordan have produced an eminently readable, visually enticing title that takes readers from Gehry's boyhood to his chain-link walled home in Los Angeles, and his famous creations, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Filled with childhood memories, personal quotes, and gorgeous full-color photographs of his work, this volume is a wonderful introduction to a creative and intuitive artist. Useful bits of information are scattered throughout. A section on how to look at a building, captions for each intriguing illustration, technical explanations, and a sample of journalists' descriptions of Gehry's work all help readers understand the art and the artist. A fascinating look at a remarkable man. (School Library Journal, (Starred Review))

Art history specialists Greenberg and Jordan unite again for an exciting, free wheeling mix of biography and architectural primer, taking readers from the outside to inside the life and work of the acclaimed yet controversial bad boy of international architecture—Frank O. Gehry. Now in his early 70s, he gained international recognition in 1997 when his astounding Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao, Spain. That building, with its springy titanium skin and unorthodox organic form (in which 'hardly a straight line exists.'), has transformed a small Basque city into an international destination with over one million visitors a year. More important, the computer-assisted and truly space-age design (using software originally used in the French aerospace industry) of this 'silver dream machine' has changed the practice of architecture—utterly. Gehry's work is playful, curvilinear, and site-specific, incorporating an unorthodox mix of unconventional space-age materials like highly reflective titanium as well as glass, steel, and limestone. Acknowledging that 'life is chaotic' he makes buildings that reflect it. Projects explored include: the 'shocking' renovation of his own Santa Monica tract house (featuring metal, chain-link fence, and unpainted plywood); furniture designs realized in corrugated cardboard and wood laminates; Colorcore fish lamps; the 'binoculars'-shaped building in Venice, California; and the arresting towers in Prague known as 'Fred and Ginger...as if one tower were a dancer being spun by another.' Oversized and handsome, the book's design communicates volumes; it's an eclectic mix of fonts and colors, enlivened with ghost images, sidebars, drawings, and photos. (Kirkus Reviews, (Starred Review))

How can Greenberg and Jordan follow up their much-lauded achievement Chuck Close: Up Close? With an equally riveting introduction to the work of controversial architect Gehry, whose playful heaps and sweeps of gleaming, undulating metal and surprise packages of giant binoculars, copper domes, and wasp-waisted glass towers bear testimony to the author's assessment that 'at heart he's a big kid with the best set of Legos in the world.' Not only will readers, most of whom have undoubtedly never heard of Gehry, be mesmerized by outstandingly reproduced photos of his landmark buildings (many captured from a variety of angles), but they will also be intrigued by the outrage that often met Gehry's efforts and his risky policy of 'refusing projects that required him to compromise.' The authors seamlessly integrate relevant biographical details, tracing the artistic and business choices that paved the route to Gehry's career development with well-placed questions and pointers for interpreting the edifices as artistic statements. Gehry's work is a perfect vehicle for introducing children to the delight and power of contemporary architecture, and this presentation is worthy of its subject. (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, (Starred Review))

Author Biography: Jan Greenberg is a writer, teacher, and art educator. She is also the author of many critically acclaimed books for young readers, including Chuck Close, Up Close, co-written with Sandra Jordan and published by DK Ink. She lives in St. Louis.

Sandra Jordan is a writer, editor, and photographer. She and Jan Greenberg are the co-authors of Chuck Close, Up Close, an ALA Notable Book, a Boston Globe/ Horn Book Honor Book, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 1998. They are also the authors of The Painter's Eye: Learning to Look at Contemporary American Art, an ALA Notable Book, and The Sculptor's Eye: Looking at Contemporary American Art, and The American Eye: Eleven Artists of the Twentieth Century. Sandra Jordan lives in New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Architectural maverick Gehry is both subject and inspiration for this visual feast by accomplished biographers Greenberg and Jordan (Chuck Close: Up Close). Mirroring the architect's vision of life and buildings as chaotic, the book's layout jumbles chapter headings, dramatic photographs and Gehry's own kinetic sketches with flair. Excellent textual accounts of the architect's childhood offer background to such career highlights as the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Prague's "Fred and Ginger" building and his spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, especially when describing a beloved grandmother's influence and the struggling young architect's professional bravado. Instructive sidebars add interest, as do a bibliography, glossary, short list of buildings and brief visual overview of the three-dimensional computer-imaging program that made Bilbao's museum possible. Unfortunately, the penetrating analysis of the creative process that made the Close biography so compelling has been supplanted by flashy photographs and Geary's own narcissistic remarks; the volume may ultimately leave readers entertained rather than enlightened. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This biography of Frank Gehry, the rumpled California architect recently declared a "national treasure," stretches our thinking about art and architecture. From his cardboard furniture to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Gehry challenges viewers. Readers learn of his grandmother's influence on him when she sat on the floor building block cities with him. The design of the book is striking—quotes from Gehry writ large, sketches mixed with photos, and juxtapositioning photos such as a Czech office building and a picture of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing (to which the building has aptly been compared). This man floats ahead of us thinking about architecture's possibilities. The endmatter lists metaphors used to describe his work (an exploded artichoke) and buildings in progress all over the country. With the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. adding one of Gehry's crumpled-paperesque buildings in the next few years, this book ought to attract plenty of readers. Says the text, "What seemed shocking twenty years ago makes us curious today." 2000, DK Ink, $19.95. Ages 9 to 14. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
VOYA
At first glance, this book appears aimed at elementary school readers. The large type and the preponderance of photographs contribute to this impression, but upon delving more deeply into the beautiful volume, the reader is surprised pleasantly. The large fonts are colored and varied, chosen to complement the photographs of Gehry's unusual works. Gehry is the Canadian-born architect of such unusual and breathtaking buildings as the Nationale-Nederlanden office building in Prague, the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and more recently the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. The book takes readers from ten-year-old Gehry hearing a handwriting reader's prediction that he would become an architect to his current project, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Sidebars and insets describe Gehry's visions of certain projects, helping readers understand the architect's philosophy. At the same time, the reader's imagination is challenged, and one is able to realize that there really are few limits to what can be created. Although this book will not provide much in the way of biographical information, young people interested in both art and architecture will find it absorbing and visually stimulating. Authors of the acclaimed Chuck Close, Up Close (DK Ink, 1998/VOYA August 1998), Greenberg and Jordan have created a compelling portrait of the artist and architect whose work epitomizes the motto "Think Different." Glossary. Biblio. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, DK Ink, 48p, $19.95. Ages 12to 18. Reviewer: Marlyn Roberts SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
From The Critics
This fascinating biography introduces the life and work of the architect Frank O. Gehry. The book explores the mind of the creator of some of the most unusual architecture in the world today. Can inspire creativity! Part of the "DK Ink" series. 2000, DK Publishing, $19.95. Ages 10 to 12. Reviewer: M. Thomas SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This stunning profile of the avant-garde architect is like one of his buildings-exciting, startling, and awesome. Greenberg and Jordan have produced an eminently readable, visually enticing title that takes readers from Gehry's boyhood to his chain-link walled home in Los Angeles, and his famous creations, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Filled with childhood memories, personal quotes, and gorgeous full-color photographs of his work, this volume is a wonderful introduction to a creative and intuitive artist. Useful bits of information are scattered throughout. A section on how to look at a building, captions for each intriguing illustration, technical explanations, and a sample of journalists' descriptions of Gehry's work all help readers understand the art and the artist. A fascinating look at a remarkable man.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Art history specialists Greenberg and Jordan (Chuck Close, Up Close, 1998, etc.) unite again for an exciting, free wheeling mix of biography and architectural primer, taking readers from the outside to inside the life and work of the acclaimed yet controversial bad boy of international architecture—Frank O. Gehry. Now in his early 70s, he gained international recognition in 1997 when his astounding Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao, Spain. That building, with its springy titanium skin and unorthodox organic form (in which "hardly a straight line exists"), has transformed a small Basque city into an international destination with over one million visitors a year. More important, the computer-assisted and truly space-age design (using software originally used in the French aerospace industry) of this "silver dream machine" has changed the practice of architecture—utterly. Gehry's work is playful, curvilinear, and site-specific, incorporating an unorthodox mix of unconventional space-age materials like highly reflective titanium as well as glass, steel, and limestone. Acknowledging that "life is chaotic" he makes buildings that reflect it. Projects explored include: the "shocking" renovation of his own Santa Monica tract house (featuring metal, chain-link fence, and unpainted plywood); furniture designs realized in corrugated cardboard and wood laminates; Colorcore fish lamps; the "binoculars"-shaped building in Venice, California; and the arresting towers in Prague known as "Fred and Ginger . . . as if one tower were a dancer being spun by another." Oversized and handsome, the book's design communicatesvolumes;it's an eclectic mix of fonts and colors, enlivened with ghost images, sidebars, drawings, and photos. (glossary, bibliography, list of building locations) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789426772
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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