Looking Back at Frank Lloyd Wright

A new exhibition of the sketches, designs and architectural models of Frank Lloyd Wright opens at one of his most famous creations, the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

"Wright's career spanned more than seven decades; he was born two years after the Civil War and died at the dawn of the space age. The exhibition is therefore a journey from architecture that, on the swirling ramp of the Guggenheim, can seem almost old-fashioned to work that closely resembles the museum. The strong horizontals, open interior spaces, and overhanging roofs of Wright's early Prairie House style combine nineteenth-century sumptuousness with potent modern thrust. In his great house Fallingwater, of 1936, powerful cantilevers lent some of the crispness of European modernism. And then there are the hexagons, hemicycles, triangles, and spirals that pervade his late work. It's appropriate that the exhibition's section about the Guggenheim itself, unquestionably the culmination of Wright's achievement, comes at the top of the spiral. Then again the Guggenheim spiral, ascending toward the sky, can be an overbearing metaphor for a chronological exhibition. (Wright would probably have loved it.) Not every oeuvre fits such a narrative, and in Wright's case the curators decided that some work was better treated thematically than chronologically. Residential designs and major urban projects are in separate galleries-mini-exhibitions that remind you of the limitations of Wright's ramp."

Full Story: Spiralling Upward

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95