A native of Toronto, Frank Gehry has lived and worked in Southern California since 1947. There he continued in the tradition of a group of architects, including Richard Neutra and Rudolf Schindler, who relocated to the Los Angeles area seeking a cultural and economic climate ripe for architectural innovation.
Unlike many of his Modernist predecessors, however, who favored an aesthetic purity defined by orthogonal lines and white surfaces, Gehry experimented with shapes and materials that were comparatively unrefined .For the renovation of his own house in Santa Monica, for example, Gehry used a palette of unconventional materials — chain-link fence, exposed lath, and corrugated metal — to construct an industrial-looking wrapper for the original Dutch colonial structure.
By the 1990s, Gehry had developed an interest in using digital technology to sculpt awe-inspiring forms; for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, he adapted a method of three-dimensional modeling used by the aerospace industry to create a shimmering display of billowing sails.
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