Frank Gehry

Artist’s Bio

Frank Gehry is one of the most sought-after, internationally recognized and prolific architects and designers in the world today. His architecture defies categorization, but has become an icon of architecture with such projects as the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In addition to designing over 30 existing buildings, Gehry has distinguished himself with a handful of furniture designs beginning in the 1970s with the Easy Edges furniture series.

After studying architecture at the University of Southern California and spending a year at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gehry established his own architecture office in 1962, in Los Angeles. The early 1990’s brought the development of Gehry’s sculptural Cross Check furniture series to Knoll International, a manufacturer and seller of furniture and textiles designed by many internationally reknowned designers.

The inspiration for Gehry’s collection of bentwood tables and chairs came from wooden apple crates, using “woven” strips of maple and requiring no additional structural support, therefore the decorative is also structural.

Much of Gehry’s work falls within the style of Deconstructivism, which is often referred to as post-structuralist in nature for its ability to go beyond current modalities of structural definition. In architecture, its application tends to depart from modernism in its inherent criticism of culturally inherited givens such as societal goals and functional necessity. Because of this, unlike early modernist structures, Deconstructivist structures are not required to reflect specific social or universal ideas, such as speed or universality of form, and they do not reflect a belief that form follows function.

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Artist’s Statement

“I’ve always been interested in furniture, probably because my dad had a little furniture company in Toronto for a while…All of the bentwood furniture to this point – Thonet’s, Aalto’s, Eames’s – always had a heavy substructure and then webbing, or an intermediary structure for seating. The difference in my chairs is that the [support] structure and the seat are formed of the same lightweight slender wood strips, which serve both functions.”

​​​Excerpted from a taped conversation between Frank Gehry and David A. ​​​​Hanks, Montreal, May 24, 1991. “Frank Gehry: New Bentwood Furniture Designs” catalogue, The Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, pp. 42-43.

RECENT NEWS

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design launches “Craft City”

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) debuts a new program series this summer that honors Asheville as “Craft City.” At three outdoor pop-up studios this summer (July 7, August 4, and September 1) people of all skill levels and backgrounds can make a take-home craft under the guidance of a visiting artist.

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