Wednesday, June 08, 2005

happy birthday to the fishiest architect

Architecture is the triumph of Human Imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word 'order.' - Frank Lloyd Wright, 1930, 1937

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. He remains one of the most imaginative and influential architects of the 20th Century. I can only imagine what he would have done with the technology we have today. As it is, he did amazing things, fusing nature and art. His inspiration was always the natural world, though his works are a triumph of artificial geometric forms.

Walking through the Guggenheim Museum in New York City is an experience I highly recommend - although when I was there in 2000, they were showing designs for a new Guggenheim - I'm not sure what they're going to do with the old building:

"Entering into the spirit of this interior, you will discover the best possible atmosphere in which to show fine paintings or listen to music. It is this atmosphere that seems to me most lacking in our art galleries, museums, music halls and theaters."
-- Frank Lloyd Wright. "Frank Lloyd Wright", The Architectural Forum, January, 1948, Vol 88 Number 1. p89.

What's really neat about the inside is that when walking through most museums - even modern art museums - you are lead from room to room and often have to retrace your steps. In this building, you are taken to the top of the inverted ziggurat (a stepped or winding pyramidal temple of Babylonian origin) by elevator. From there you can leisurely stroll down the continuous winding ramp which leads you from gallery to gallery. The center of the spiraling conch shell is totally open. The whole experience sort of washes over my memory, like waves, leaving me with a soothing feeling. This museum has seen some very interesting exhibits over the years - from Andy Warhol to the Aztec Empire. When I went there the main event, as it were, the exhibition which was most prominently displayed upon the easily spiraling ramp, was Giorgio Armani:

The strange mix of art and culture portrayed by the museum's history of exhibitions keeps consistent with Frank Lloyd Wright's vision of art and architecture, natural and artificial. I was lucky enough to go to this amazing building with my mom who is an architect as well as a painter.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed 1141 homes and buildings, of those 532 were completed by his death on April 9, 1959. Among his other works are private homes, churches and synagogues as well as the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California. I've never seen a photo that does this building justice, but you get the idea:


5 little fish:

Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i've seen the William Cass house, called "the Crimson Beech", here on Staten Island, but i can't find a picture, so i'll just have to go out later & take some.

1:06 PM  
Blogger oldben swam up to say...

it's a little prefab deal on emerson hill, overlooking the bay, named after the crimson beech tree that used to stand in the yard. the house remains, tho sadly the tree is gone.

2:39 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i'm going to have to go to the Guggenheim now...

10:35 AM  
Blogger banzai cat swam up to say...

Hmmm... I like writer Scott Westerfield's approach in analyzing Wright's work re: Frank Lloyd Wright vs. Zombies.

Heehee funny...

4:16 AM  
Blogger oldben swam up to say...

flw looks like palpatine in this pic.

4:22 PM  

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