RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Frank Gehry at LACMA – déjà vu updated


Frank Gehry

Several years ago the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) showed a comprehensive exhibit of Frank Gehry’s work which I attended. If I remember rightly, this was just before his Walt Disney Concert Hall (across the street, as it happens) was completed.

frank gehry

So the exhibit currently displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was a little bit of déjà vu for me…  updated. Over a decade since its opening, the Disney has proved successful both as a concert venue and an architectural marvel on every tourist’s list.

Frank Gehry

As 2015 closes, the supposed centerpiece of the Grand Avenue Project in downtown, designed by Gehry, is still sputtering around, delayed for years. And now Gehry is involved in the revitalization of the storied Los Angeles River.

Frank Gehry

In the meantime, the man and his crew have been busy. Above is a photo of his office with current projects.

frank gehry


frank gehry

The first time I heard of Frank Gehry was before I even knew his name. Some avant garde architect bought an ordinary house in an ordinary Santa Monica neighborhood and turned it into an example of deconstructive architecture with chain link fences and corrugated aluminum siding. The neighbors were not happy.

The next time his name came up was in 1991 when he expanded the house and once again the neighbors protested. By then, as I had an interest in architecture, his name was on my radar and I made the effort to walk by the house to take a look. I’m not sure I would be that ecstatic about having him for a neighbor either!

frank gehry

But the rest, as they say, is history. The man is a genius, there is no doubt about that. And I appreciate the fact that he has turned architecture on its head. I’m personally just not crazy about all his designs.

frank gehry

One I do like, and pass by quite often, is the Binoculars Building (originally the Chiat/Day Building) in Santa Monica. The Binoculars were designed by Claes Oldenburg.

Frank Gehry

I enjoyed looking at the models and drawings. We stopped to watch the 2006 documentary, Sketches of Frank Gehry directed by Sydney Pollock. I originally saw it on PBS some years ago but it’s worth a second look.

Click on one of the images below to start the slideshow for some more photos from the exhibit:

Normally I would take the bus to LACMA but my friend decided it was too cold as the forecast was for the low 60s F (15.5 C), so she drove and we had to pay $12 to park the car. I admittedly have a thing about paying to park a car.

My friend is originally from Chicago but this is what years of living in Southern California does to you! (Of course, she might say, this is why I live in Southern California, and not in Chicago…)

However, as it turns out, her instincts were right. As we were coming back to the museum from the restaurant where we ate a late lunch, it started to rain. Oh my goodness, if we had to wait in the rain for the Metro bus, then again to transfer to the Culver City Bus, then walk home, not only would we both be wet and miserable, but I would have felt responsible.

I wish I could say this was the beginning of El Niño which the weather forecasters have been threatening us with for so long. But it looks like this is it until Christmas morning when we may have another few drops. Then the sun comes out again until January 5 when there is the possibility of a light shower. So disappointing.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

5 thoughts on “Frank Gehry at LACMA – déjà vu updated

  1. Stunned by his stately architectural marvels that soar audaciously in space.Huge metalic surfaces with odd and fluttered shapes that wrote history in the Contemporary Architecture,and as I saw in your photo with the complex model projects,there is more to come.His Walt Disney Concert Hall is so much alike the Opera House in Sydney.Although I have a weakness for classical style,I always admire the big achievements in architecture.He is a genius indeed!The only style I cannot compromise with,is the Brutalist Architecture which I consider an eyesore especially when I see the brick and raw cement next to beautiful and well-preserved neo-classical mansions.Interesting post,dear Roslyn,striking your photos and all about Frank Gehry.It was sort of a virtual tour which I so much enjoyed.Thank you 🙂


    • I agree with you about the Brutalist style. Nevertheless, it is the architectural style of a period that tells a story and I can’t say knock it down because it is ugly (in my opinion). Around LA there were many “old fashioned” buildings from the 1920s that were destroyed in the 60s and 70s to make way for more “modern” designs. Every era thinks their’s is the best and the only way to go! So I feel the need to defend architecture I don’t like!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So wonderfully said dear Roslyn.They build the new on the old and that’s how we end up with those big architectural achievements.Thank you so much for your insightful reply,we have to defend and respect even things we don’t really like.Nobody can stop evolution in all fields and as Heraclitus said :”There is nothing permanent except change.” τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει …

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You can park on the streets near the museum for free next time. Gehry is quite impressive. Nice office!


    • Yes, Bumba, I know and you know but…. !!!
      I was really amazed at his office… I worked for a large LA architectural office many years ago but nowhere near that big!

      Liked by 1 person

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