Eleven new prints by architect Frank Gehry will be on view at Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl from April 22 through May 28, 2010. These ten lithographs and one etching recently published by the Los Angeles-based artists workshop Gemini G.E.L. depict various architectural projects – some recently completed as well as some unrealized. While the prints in this series are not actual preparatory sketches, they reflect the creative genius behind some of Gehry’s most iconic buildings.
Frank Gehry’s designs consistently blur the line between art and architecture, yet the aesthetic appeal of his sculpted creations never obscures the role of function. Gehry begins each architectural project with a sketch, what he calls the “tentativeness, the messiness.” From these abstract drawings Gehry goes about refining his ideas until they finally are realized in tangible, three-dimensional form. Gehry has achieved world-wide acclaim for his distinctive design sensibility; among the most innovative architects in history, Gehry’s buildings seem to defy gravity and the natural laws of physics.
Featured among the new series of prints is one of Gehry’s most well-known and admired projects, and also one of his newest projects. In his print, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Gehry provides a bird’s eye view of his iconic museum, and effortlessly translates the way the structure is nestled along a river that cuts through the city. This building is unquestionably Gehry’s most renowned, and yet the overhead rendering is one that will provide a fresh perspective on this famous landmark. Beekman Street Housing depicts a new architectural project currently underway in New York City that promises to rank among some of the most iconic and tallest buildings in the city. Beekman Tower is constructed following a classical T-shaped plan, with sharp corners. As the building rises, the forms step back and decrease in scale, and the patterned blocks shift slightly. What makes Beekman Tower unique is the building’s exterior skin, and it is this aspect of the tower that is perfectly captured in Gehry’s print. The façade, with its series of soft, irregular folds, mimics the appearance of rivulets of water or melting ice. This effect becomes central in Gehry’s print, where lines stream down the paper and weave in and out, giving the image a sense of dynamism and movement in much the same way that the play of light and shadow against the tower itself will bring the undulating forms to life.
These two, along with an image of his celebrated Walt Disney Concert Hall, are but a few examples of the dramatic nature of Gehry’s buildings translated into elegant and gracefully energetic linear prints. This new series is the second group of prints created in collaboration with the Gemini G.E.L. workshop, following the release of a sculptural edition published in 2000. Gehry also designed and completed a building for the Gemini workshop in 1979.