Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gehry gets big retrospective in Paris. Atlantic Yards *context* gets ignored.

Updated to clarify that a model of Atlantic Yards is included, just no context.

Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne yesterday wrote, Comprehensive 'Gehry' retrospective in Paris draws sociological blank:
The exhibition is an impeccable vacuum. The curators have worked strenuously, if invisibly, to keep at bay the full range of issues that have given the rest of the architecture world a full-on identity crisis in the last decade or so.
The curators cast Gehry in a well-worn mold: as one of the Great Men of contemporary architecture, a lone creative genius who has navigated a path from teenage Canadian immigrant in postwar Los Angeles to global superstar, churning out unorthodox houses, museums and concert halls all the while.
...Other banished subjects include Gehry's complicated relationship with Los Angeles, his adopted hometown; the uncertain fate of his proposed memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower near the Mall in Washington, D.C.; the political uproar that greeted his plan, sponsored by Bruce Ratner, to drop more than a dozen separate buildings and an NBA arena into the middle of Brooklyn; and recent controversy surrounding labor conditions for construction crews in Abu Dhabi, where Gehry's firm is designing a massive Guggenheim satellite due to be completed in 2017.
Hawthorne makes the case that museums can treat architecture exhibitions more broadly, and urges curators at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the Gehry show is scheduled to appear in September 2015, to broaden the frame.

Here are a couple of Gehry retrospectives.

And just as the curators omitted the context of Atlantic Yards from Gehry's history--there is a model in the show--so have the new owners of the project written out Atlantic Yards, converting the project to Pacific Park Brooklyn. Except in China.

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