The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

25WEBER-master675Nicholas Fox Weber at the New York Times:

The mystery in these pages is Goldberger’s own judgment of Frank Gehry’s architecture. We certainly see Gehry in the company of famous artists — Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschen­berg and Robert Irwin were early friends — and we follow his meteoric rise to worldwide fame. We encounter a lot of powerful real estate developers, and learn the background stories of the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, 8 Spruce Street (to my mind Gehry’s most successful building, suggesting he is better at apartment towers than museums and concert halls) and, most recently, the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum. Yet Gehry’s entertaining and uncommonly intelligent biographer puts as much emphasis on details like the presence of Brad Pitt and Arianna Huffington at the architect’s 80th-birthday party as on the characteristics of the architecture itself. Reeling off names like Larry Gagosian, Bono, Ian Schrager, Candice Bergen and Ben Gazzara as being among the people to celebrate Gehry’s 82nd birthday, Goldberger seems to suggest that being famous matters as much, at least to Frank Gehry, as the social service and aesthetic impact of his buildings.

Bono sang at the funeral of the painter Balthus, whose biography I wrote. For me, that episode with Bono signified the infatuation with celebrity that had been one of the sillier aspects of the life of a gifted and brilliant artist.

more here.