SAH News

Metropolis: Interview with Paul Goldberger on Frank Gehry

by Samuel Medina | Sep 28, 2015

Q&A: Paul Goldberger on Frank Gehry's Life and Work


Frank Gehry isn’t just the world’s foremost architect; he is, by all public standards, also one of our greatest living artists. Paul Goldberger’s new biography (his first), Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, acknowledges the architect’s celebrity status but doesn’t acquiesce in it. Rather, Goldberger interrogates the peculiar psyche and restless contradictions of the man to shed light on the motivations behind the architecture. Metropolis editor Samuel Medina speaks to the newly minted biographer about defying genre conventions, unpacking the ambiguities of Gehry’s work, and giving reporters the finger.

Samuel Medina: In the last decade, critics have been almost overeager to dismiss Gehry simply as a starchitect. How is that a reductive or unfair judgment?


Paul Goldberger: There’s a side to him that’s very non-starchitect, I’d say. I was just talking to someone at the Los Angeles Times who’s doing a piece on Gehry’s project in Watts [for the nonprofit Children's Institute, Inc.], and talking about his lifetime interest in social responsibility, and the book delves into that. Frank really doesn’t want to be remembered as somebody who just did a few iconic buildings. I wanted both to place him within the context of the architecture of our time and also place his iconic buildings within the context of an entire life, because there’s more to him than Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Read full interview here
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