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Frank O. Gehry: Sketches

September 07, 2012 /
As soon as I understand the scale of the building and the relationship to the site and the relationship to the client, as it becomes more and more clear to me, I start doing sketches./FOG

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Photo: Thomas Mayer
The key to Frank O. Gehry's architecture is in his drawings. A Gehry building begins with a sketch, and Gehry's sketches are distinctive. They're characterized by a sense of off-hand improvisation, of intuitive spontaneity. The fine line is invariably fluid, impulsive. The drawings convey no architectural mass or weight, only loose directions and shifting spatial relationships.

The Guggenheim Bilbao is a remarkable turning point in Gehry's work and in the history of architecture - because it manages to maintain in built form the impromptu sketchiness of his drawings. It's a sketch in real space, a sketch you can walk into. Drawing is the medium most capable of closely recording the evolution of artistic thought - from brain to hand to pencil to paper and back to brain.

Walking through Gehry's sketchy building is like navigating a projection of psychological space that is continuously unfolding. The result: Every visitor is always located at its exact center, and the center moves with you.
Christopher Knight
Art Critic Los Angeles Times

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Frank O.Gehry House  (1978)
Santa Monica, California

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Last updated: December 20, 2013

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