On display at Leslie Feely Fine Art in New York from April 11 to June 30, 2013, the Frank Gehry At Work exhibition features a selection of over 30 diverse process models by Gehry, which are drawn from significant constructions and concepts of the architect’s prolific career. These organic forms, which consist of a wide array of materials, stand as testament to Gehry’s tactile approach, enhancing our perception of this sculptural architect and his work, illuminating the subtleties of Gehry’s thought—and working—process. More images and information on the exhibition after the break.
Projects on view include the California Aerospace Museum and Theater (1984), the Winton Guest House (1987), the Chiat/Day Building (1991), the Barcelona Fish or Peix completed for the 1992 Summer Olympics, and the Beekman Tower/New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street (2011).
Several renditions of Gehry’s concept for Sonderborg Kunsthalle, for instance, experiment with varying shapes and degrees of fluidity embodied in the structure’s metallic skin. Studies pertaining to an unrealized tower for the Brooklyn Arena utilize materials ranging from basswood, vinyl, and plexiglass to gatorboard and paper. Each successive stage of a given model’s development illustrates the exploratory nature of Gehry’s practice, and the playfulness and originality inherent to his work.
Distinguishing his methods from conventional, precision-based modes of development, Frank Gehry’s process is similar to that of artists, sculptors, and scientists. In a 1980 interview he explained, “It’s kind of like throwing things out and then following the ideas, rather than predicting what you’re going to do.” His models can therefore be understood as conceptual drafts, or three-dimensional sketches, integral to project development and design. Moreover, the structures are admirable in themselves as aesthetically beautiful sculpture.
This show provides insight into Gehry’s indelible mind, one of the most brilliant—and provocative—of contemporary architecture and design. Photographic reproductions of his studio, the architect at work, and certain realized projects accompany the models on display. This exhibition reveals otherwise concealed aspects of Gehry’s process and practice, while simultaneously inspiring an array of new questions. Ultimately, these architectural studies culminate in a perceptive study of the architect himself.