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The Private Frank Gehry

Dwellings by Gehry may be lesser known, but are no less magical.

Book Cover Whether Frank Gehry ranks as one of the greatest living architects or not, he is certainly one of the most famous—think the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Now comes a new monograph, Frank Gehry: The Houses (Rizzoli) written by Mildred Friedman, which exhibits his lesser-known work and designs for private houses.

Apparently it was in residential design that Gehry began his exploration of new methodologies and experimentation with an array of materials—perhaps most famously with his own house. His first steps as an innovator in use of materials and refining of how architects employ digital software were in residential applications as exemplified by the Schnabel House in Brentwood, Calif., the Winton Guest House in Wayzata, Minn., and the Lewis House in Lyndhurst, OH. All are spectacular examples of Gehry’s startling, postmodernist style.

As he is quoted in Friedman’s tome:
You can learn from the past, but you can’t continue to be in the past; history is not a substitute for imagination…I use art as a means of inspiration. There are no rules, no right or wrong. I’m confused as to what’s ugly and what’s pretty.
Using an elucidating mix of color photography, sketches, and plans, this 300-page tome is a well-designed exhibit of the envelope-pushing, rule-breaking, sometimes dazzling creations of a singular artist.
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