CONVERSATIONS WITH FRANK GEHRYCulling the most candid, revealing, and entertaining interviews from her twenty years of talking with Frank Gehry, Barbara Isenberg gives us an intimate portrait of our most influential architect. In her new book, Conversations with Frank Gehry, Gehry covers every aspect of his career?his early formative influences, work process, artistic influences, inspiration, business, art and artists. Gehry?s subjects include his childhood spent building cities from blocks on his grandmother?s floor, winning the Walt Disney Concert Hall competition, and touring Bilbao for the first time. He divulges his frank opinions of other architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Rudolf Schindler. In addition, illustrations, including early sketches and models, and computer renderings allow us to see Gehry?s thoughts unfold, step by step.
?I?ve written about many of [his] endeavors, interviewing Gehry again and again for newspapers, magazines, and books since the 1980s,? writes Barbara Isenberg in her Introduction. ?A few years ago, he asked me if I would help him organize his memories through an oral history. I was immediately drawn to the idea, having enjoyed our earlier interviews, and what began as an oral history soon evolved into the conversations I?ve edited here.? Conversations with Frank Gehry is an unprecedented look into the life and work of a brilliantly creative, amusing, and articulate man.
Conversations with Frank Gehry - Reviews
- ?Absolutely fascinating.. A gold mine for scholars and the general public." Library Journal
- ?Surprising . . . Conversations reveals an architect every bit as engaging as his buildings."
New York Times
- ?Rich and . . . revelatory . . . Gehry's long relationship with Isenberg . . . has produced a level of trust and familiarity that allows him to open up in ways he has rarely done publicly.? Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times
- "Isenberg . . . offers worthwhile new information for architecture devotees and an engaging introduction for general readers." Martin Filler, The New York Times Book Review
- "Ambition and what [Frank Gehry] calls his 'aw-shucks' personality collude in such precedent-setting projects as Guggenheim Bilbao, Disney Hall, and his own chain-link-happy home in Santa Monica. This conversation sheds light on them all." Los Angeles Magazine
- "A frank conversation with Frank [is] unusually revealing, and few have done it better than arts reporter Barbara Isenberg . . . Compelling . .There are sharp insights on the creative process." Michael Webb, The Architect's Newspaper
- "Isenberg . . . keeps her sharp questions front and center, reminding the readers that these are intelligently interactive interviews . Gehry's conversations with Isenberg offer portraits of an astute listener as well as talker?? Norman Weinstein, ArchNewsNow.com
- "A gold mine for Gehry admirers; for more casual followers of his work, there are plenty of intriguing insights into the creative process." Metropolis Magazine
- "Articulate and disarmingly unpretentious." Starred review, Booklist
- "Essential reading for everyone interested in the art and craft of architecture." Tucson Citizen
- ?Isenberg's book may be the best way to explore Gehry's work . . . A wonderful place to wait for the world to start bustling again." Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
STATE OF THE ARTS:
State of the Arts chronicles the link between creativity and
place through conversations with more than 50 California artists both
well-known and lesser-known. Musician Dave Brubeck, novelist Maxine Hong
Kingston, artist Alexis Smith, writer Joan Didion?all were born in California.
David Hockney calls himself an English Los Angeleno while Toronto-born
Frank Gehry got here and essentially changed the way we look at architecture
not just in California but around the world. Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti,
novelist John Rechy, director Peter Sellars, artist Judy Chicago and so
many other creative people grew up across the country or across the world
but eventually came to California to paint or to sculpt, to compose music
or to write novels. Edward Weston once said everything worth photographing
was in California.
CALIFORNIA ARTISTS TALK ABOUT THEIR WORK
State of the Arts - Reviews
- "Probing interviews...[Isenberg]plumbs the qualities of the Golden State that inspire those who were born or moved there." Time
- "The book is the single best example of how creativity inspires creativity in the hothouse environment of California." Los Angeles Times
- "Reading these interviews is like eavesdropping on the artists' ruminations." New York Times Book Review
- ?Since Isenberg knows that the key to a good interview is to let the subject talk, her book is filled with wonderful insights and anecdotes?funny, moving and fascinating.? ARTnews
- ?Even as a non-Californian, I find great delight in reading this book, and in the richness and contributions its heroes have made in life.? Studs Terkel
- "Interesting and eclectic?this is an illuminating book.? Library Journal
MAKING IT BIG
How does one of Broadway?s most anticipated musicals end up folding its
tent after just six months and with a potential loss of more than $10
million? In Barbara Isenberg?s behind-the scenes-account, readers follow
step by step as Big, the musical struggles against nearly insuperable
odds. The long-awaited stage adaptation of the popular Tom Hanks film
did not have an easy journey, and in this authoritative, insightful and
readable journal, we go backstage as the $10.3 million production is cast,
rewritten, rehearsed and performed, first in Detroit, then in New York.
Doors are opened to high-pressure rehearsals, passionate advertising debates,
stern budget talks and endless rewrite sessions in out-of-town hotel rooms.
Making It Big illuminates the harsh realities of musical theater?a much-beloved but high-stakes, high-risk art form. It is a book for everyone who cares about Broadway musicals.
Making It Big - Reviews
- "Marvelous. Barbara Isenberg's precise and perceptive account of Big from its birth pangs to its final delivery is a gripping tale of blood, sweat and toys." Larry Gelbart
- "Making It Big is a juicy, must-read cautionary tale for all those who care about the survival of legitimate theater." Liz Smith syndicated column
- "....convinces us that anyone who works for years on a musical will be driven insane, assuming they weren't insane in the first place." John Heilpern, New York Observer
- "..[a] fascinating log of the creation of Big....After reading Isenberg's book, you thank God the Olivier Awards do not obsess the British in the mad, damaging way the Tonies do Americans." Benedict Nightingale, The Times (London)
- "Isenberg's account...provides a detailed look at how the musical theater and its creators function in the big-business Broadway environment of the '90s." Dramatists Guild Quarterly
- "a fascinating blow-by-blow description of the creation of the musical Big" Patrick Pacheco, Newsday
- "a lovable and dedicated cast of characters [in] a cautionary tale for producers, writers, and artists as well as audiences." Library Journal
- "If you've always wondered how a Broadway show gets put together, this is the book for you...a sobering and absorbing book." Clifford Ridley, Philadelphia Inquirer
- "Anyone with an interest in how a musical is conceived, what happens to it during its tryout period, and why it ultimately succeeds or fails, will relish this insider's look..." Show Music
- "Musical theater buffs will find Making It Big a terrific read." Nelson Pressley, Washington Times