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Frank’s Drawings: Eight Museums by Gehry

Abstract drawing of museum

Frank’s Drawings: Eight Museums by Gehry

February 18–May 7, 2006

Curated by Larry Wayne Richards

University of Toronto Art Centre

This exhibition will be the first exhibition in two decades devoted entirely to drawings by the acclaimed Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based architect, Frank Owen Gehry.

Spanning 25 years, from 1979 to 2004, the exhibition will include 49 original pen-on-paper drawings of eight museum projects by Gehry: the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Museum of Tolerance (Jerusalem), the Samsung Museum of Modern Art (Seoul), the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum (Biloxi), the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis), the Panama Bridge of Life, Museum of Biodiversity (Panama City), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). A selection of Gehry’s sketchbooks from the late 70s and early 80s, along with an array of telephone-pad/thumbnail sketches never before shown, will bracket the core display of 49 drawings. A unique, 3-D “wire drawing” commissioned by Gehry for the U of T Art Centre show will also be displayed.

Frank’s Drawings: Eight Museums by Gehry is curated by former University of Toronto Dean and now Professor of Architecture, Larry Wayne Richards, who has known Gehry and assessed his work since the early 1980s. “This is a rare opportunity to see Frank Gehry’s mind and hand at work and to see some of the spontaneous, generating drawings that have led to his astonishing architecture,” says Richards.

Before a building is designed and constructed, the architect imagines it. Then the idea must flow from the architect’s mind and be externalized. Typically this translation happens first through the medium of drawings, moving from mind to hand to paper; and this is the case with Frank Gehry. Through his spontaneous, delicate “wirey” drawings, representations of three-dimensional volumes and forms begin to emerge, along with notions of functional space allocation and building materials. It is well known that, following these first idea-sketches, Gehry works with rough cardboard models, and later his staff further develops the projects using sophisticated digital modelling. Gehry’s distinctive, highly sculptural, architectural language typically evolves through this complex process – moving from idea-sketch to cardboard model to 3-D digital image and, sometimes, back again to further wirey drawings. For Frank Gehry it is a circular creative process: from mind to hand to eye, then back to mind again.

The exhibition will be presented in the Art Centre’s Delta Gamma Gallery and will run in parallel with the exhibition, Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture at The Art Gallery of Ontario.

Concurrent Exhibition

Frank Gehry: Art + Architecture
Art Gallery of Ontario, Saturday, February 18-Sunday, May 7, 2006

Curator’s Talk with Larry Richards

Franks Gehry’s Radical and Common Spaces
Thursday, February 16, 2006, 4:30pm
University of Toronto Art Centre/University College, Room 140

Opening Reception

Saturday February 18, 2006
University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support of The Abraham and Malka Green Foundation, the University of Toronto Provost and Dean of Arts & Science, the Ontario Arts Council, and University College with additional project support from Manulife Financial.

Title Image: Frank Gehry, Puente de Vida: Panama Museum of Biodiversity © Gehry Partners, LLP

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