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