Most of the world’s high achievers have had some great dream, a grand vision of what they wish to achieve, and then use their talents and skills to ensure that dream becomes a reality.
That certainly seems to have been the case for Canadian-American architect, Frank Gehry. The effect he has had on the world of art is so important that it has its own name.
Gehry has been known for his postmodern designs, incorporating a sense of boldness into what he does. He is particularly recognised for his use of unusual materials, such as corrugated metals, creating a consistently crude aesthetic in his work. It is also noteworthy that, despite maintaining strict budgetary methods on his projects, those very same pieces of work are occasionally known to be ambitious, one of the more prominent examples being the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
One of Gehry’s most significant works, however, has been the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, opened in 1997. The significance of this project stems from the way in which the museum has injected a sense of cultural wonder into the city.
The museum came about through a series of collaborations between the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and Basque authorities throughout the 1980s. Gehry sought to involve himself in this, and it was his determination to push the boundaries of Postmodernism that won him a museum commission. With Gehry taking an active role in proceedings, a combination of artistic, technological and community-based ideas pulled together to result in the Guggenheim Museum, its steely, curvaceous walls resembling the scales of a fish. With fish being a matter of artistic interest for Gehry, his mark on the Museum has very much been left.
On a more far-reaching note, Gehry’s mark on the world of art has also been left with what has become known as the Bilbao effect. The Guggenheim Museum transformed Bilbao from a rather bland city into a hub of culture and innovation. The Bilbao effect refers to other nationwide projects which seek to achieve a similar whirl of cultural productivity.
Such a legacy is one of which all creative geniuses would be pleased with. With Gehry’s work clear for all to see, it is with great anticipation that many art fans around the world will hope for more artistic revolutions, both in their own area and everywhere.
—Luke Mayo, Correspondent (Art)