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Artists Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry Photo

Frank Gehry

Canadian-American Architect

Movements and Styles: Modernism and Modern Art, Postmodernism

Born: February 28, 1929 - Toronto, Canada

Frank Gehry Timeline

"[Gehry's] buildings are shocking. They don't please the eye the way the Taj Mahal does, but they give you a mysterious feeling of delight."

Philip Johnson


Arguably the most important architect of the contemporary era and certainly the most famous living architect, Frank Gehry's unique style is hard to categorize. Although his earlier work is rooted in modernism, his later designs have consciously rejected modernist tropes. Experimenting with a range of materials from cheap mass-produced items to space-age titanium, his buildings are entertaining and surprising, but also functional. Gehry has designed a number of iconic buildings including the Bilbao Guggenheim, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Biomuseo in Panama City and these have become world-renowned attractions in their own right, often bringing tourists and money into an area. His style continues to evolve to the present day and he is still active in architectural design, creating bold testaments to his own innovative vision.

Key Ideas

Gehry draws much of his inspiration from art, both contemporary and classical. He treats each new commission as "a sculptural object" and he is particularly well-known for his asymmetrical designs which resemble the forms of Constantin Brancusi or Henry Moore, only on a grand scale. The impact of Cubism, and the work of Pablo Picasso and Giorgio Morandi, is also apparent in many of his geometric and deconstructed works.
All of Gehry's designs are united by their sense of movement, he embeds motion directly into his architecture so that his projects, flow, curve, bend, and crumple in novel and unexpected ways, subverting traditional building norms.
Gehry is a pioneer of 3D computer modelling as an architectural tool, utilizing it to transform sketched concepts into actual buildings and this has allowed him to create increasingly experimental forms, particularly in his later 'crumpled paper' buildings
Frank Gehry Life and Legacy

Frank Gehry was born Frank Goldberg in Toronto, Ontario. His parents were Sadie Caplan and Irving Goldberg (a former boxer and a travelling salesman who specialized in pinball and slot machines). They were descended, respectively, from Polish and Russian Jews and, although he rarely used it, Frank was also given the Hebrew name Ephraim. The architect later said of his parents: "my father thought I was a dreamer, I wasn't gonna amount to anything. It was my mother who ... would push me".

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Frank Gehry
Interactive chart with Frank Gehry's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart


Giovanni Lorenzo BerniniGiovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Le CorbusierLe Corbusier
Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Robert Venturi

Personal Contacts

Robert RauschenbergRobert Rauschenberg
Edward KienholzEdward Kienholz
Robert IrwinRobert Irwin
Ed Moses
Ed RuschaEd Ruscha


Modernism and Modern ArtModernism and Modern Art
Funk ArtFunk Art

Influences on Artist
Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
Years Worked: c.1954 - present
Influenced by Artist


Daniel LibeskindDaniel Libeskind
Philip JohnsonPhilip Johnson

Personal Contacts

Zaha HadidZaha Hadid
Larry BellLarry Bell



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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Dawn Kanter

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Dawn Kanter
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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First published on 08 Apr 2019. Updated and modified regularly.
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