Frank Gehry

American, 1929
Perhaps the most influential architect living today, Frank Gehry is renowned for flamboyant designs clad in stainless steel or titanium, such as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This celebrated building is a feat of Deconstructivism, with curvilinear walls meant to “catch the light,” according to the architect. The 350,000-square-foot edifice has been compared to a seafaring vessel docked on the banks of the Nervión River, “a fantastic dream ship of undulating form in a cloak of titanium,” in the words of the art critic Calvin Tomkins.

In the context of furniture, Gehry has won plaudits for his sinuous seating, such as this rare set of four “Contour” lounge chairs, from Bermingham & Co. (New York City). In this series, the artist is mixing registers, deploying humble or industrial materials in the service of cutting-edge design. The chairs are impossible to classify, but, then, Gehry has never cared much about playing by the rules, once remarking at a press conference, “In the world we live in, ninety-eight per cent of what gets built and designed today is pure shit. There’s no sense of design nor respect for humanity or anything. They’re bad buildings and that’s it.”

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