Essay on Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry was born on February 28, 1929 in Toronto, Canada. His parents, Irving and Thelma Caplan Goldberg

were both very creative people and Gehry was exposed to an artistic and inventive environment from a very young age. His social life however, was clouded by anti- Semitism and teasing throughout most of his teen years and affected him greatly throughout the rest of his life. He was teased as “fish” by many of his peers and developed a sort of obsession for the creatures which would only wear off through his sculptures in the 1980’s. For a large part of his life, Frank Gehry struggled with depression and paranoia of the future and these struggles are reflected in his work. Some may believe that his buildings are “weird” just for the sake of being weird but Gehry’s inventive and sculptural eye allows him to express his pain, anger and view of the world the way an artist would on a canvas. He not only creates buildings, but art. . After suffering from an economic blow in the 1940’s his family moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of finding a better life. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Gehry was forced to work to support his parents and was unable to attend school until later when he attended U.S.C. He was later drafted into the U.S Army in 1954 where he eventually began designing men’s dayrooms. These temporary structures mostly consisted of corrugated metal, chain link fencing and plywood – materials which would continue to reappear throughout Gehry’s work in the future. In 1956, Gehry began to attend Harvard Graduate School of Design but could not appreciate the style of teaching and in 1961 he traveled to Europe where he discovered a love for Romanesque building such as Worms Cathedral in Germany (something which he had…

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…e uses history, art and instinct to express his inner thoughts and struggles and is able to free himself in this way. I believe that he has begun to take the next step in architecture which is to create buildings as an art form. Not all architects will create buildings as different as Gehry’s but I believe that we will soon see many more buildings that are meant to portray the Architects feelings and emotions woven in with form and function. Frank Gehry has already mastered this skill and, as I said, is not simply and architect but an artist as well.

Works Cited

Bletter, Rosemarie H., Coosje van Bruggen, Mildred Friedman, Joseph Giovannini, and Thomas S. Hines.The Architecture of Frank Gehry.

Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1986. 1-50. Print. “Frank O. Gehry.”

Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Student Resources in Context. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.


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