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Building Art

The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

Paul Goldberger


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/15/2015)


Here, from Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Paul Goldberger, is the first full-fledged critical biography of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. Goldberger follows Gehry from his humble origins—the son of working-class Jewish immigrants in Toronto—to the heights of his extraordinary career. He explores Gehry’s relationship to Los Angeles, a city that welcomed outsider artists and profoundly shaped him in his formative years. He surveys the full range of his work, from the Bilbao Guggenheim to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. to the architect’s own home in Santa Monica, which galvanized his neighbors and astonished the world. He analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which an amiable surface masks a driving ambition. And he discusses his use of technology, not just to change the way a building looks, but to revolutionize the very practice of the field. Comprehensive and incisive, Building Art is a sweeping view of a singular artist—and an essential story of architecture’s modern era.  

Praise For Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

“Fascinating. . . . An informative, startling journey into the inner sanctums of modern architecture’s power structure.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Revealing. . . . A penetrating portrait.” —Morning Edition/NPR

“Riveting. . . . Full of little-known facts about the Pritzker Prize-winner that will surprise the most knowledgable Gehry-philes.” —Architectural Digest

“Excellent and comprehensive. . . . Undeniably fascinating.” —Bloomberg

“Terrifically readable. . . . Satisfying detail on Gehry’s career path and hugely complex personality.” —Los Angeles Times

“Convey[s] the architect’s personality and process with deft strokes that have an artistic ease of their own. . . . If you’re intrigued by Frank Gehry . . . I can’t recommend this expansive survey of his life and work too highly.” —John King, San Francisco Chronicle

“Fascinating. . . . Agilely balances the disparate subjects of art and biography. Goldberger’s critical assessments of Gehry’s designs are insightful and often riveting.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Critically fluent, socially and psychologically acute. . . . An involving work of significant architectural history and a discerning and affecting portrait of a daring and original master builder.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This full-length critical study of an important contemporary architect is by one of our finest architectural critics. . . . [An] outstanding volume. . . . Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Richly researched, intelligent, and graceful.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[Goldberger] 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 into the look and feel of buildings.” —Publishers Weekly

Vintage, 9780307946393, 544pp.

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

About the Author

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.