Amazon.comFrank Gehry has called Walt Disney Concert Hall a "living room" for the city of Los Angeles. Opened in Fall 2003 to rapturous praise, the hall beckons all comers with a billowing steel facade gleaming in the sunlight. Nearly 100 stunning color photographs and four concise, engaging essays by notable, mostly L.A.-based contributors make Symphony: Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall the ideal overview of this major civic and cultural landmark. Significant architectural, acoustical,urban design and civic leadership angles are all covered, including the checkered history of the project, stalled for years due to a ballooning budget, a complex decision-making process and a misguided attempt to relegate Gehry to a consulting role. In the end, as Michael Webb points out, the lag time proved valuable to Gehry, coinciding with his mastery of a new architectural language that he first explored in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The book is full of intriguing details. For example, the acoustical scheme developed by Dr. Minoru Nagata relies in part on a surprising discovery he made—-that the quality of sound in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, long attributed to the resonant wood walls, was really due to the four inches of plaster underneath. The most ambitious chapter is Carol McMichael Reese's discussion of the hall's role in the long-term rehabilitation of downtown Los Angeles. For all its scrupulous detail and balanced assessments, however, she fails to give an eye-level view of the gritty texture of downtown Los Angeles and how alien it still is to the average symphony patron. The book concludes with an essay by Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who notes the appropriateness of visionary design to the modern symphonic repertoire he champions. —Cathy CurtisBook DescriptionThroughout his remarkably prolific career of more than 40 years, Lucas Samaras has built a diverse and highly textured body of work, largely with his own image. Self-depiction is arguably the driving force of his life's work. This book, the catalogue for a major exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is the first to focus on his self-portraiture.
Marla Prather surveys Samaras's career from the late 1950s to the present, tracing his self-portraits in various mediums, including drawings, photography, boxes, mirrored environments, and film. There will also be an extensive, illustrated biography of the artist, making the catalogue an essential source for scholars. Including some 300 illustrations, Unrepentant Ego demonstrates Samaras's critical place in art history, which he has earned by creating provocative, multifaceted work outside the dominant trends of his time.