Concrete. . . is a plastic material. I see a kind of weaving coming out of it."" Taking advantage of Wright's ability to...

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FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Concrete. . . is a plastic material. I see a kind of weaving coming out of it."" Taking advantage of Wright's ability to express abstractions in striking and understandable terms, Willard manages to make sophisticated concepts such as horizontality, unity of opposites, and ""skin as structure"" fascinating to the neophyte. Further aided by Wright's marked individualism and his unconventional private and professional life, she traces his development chronologically, with much attention to the many personal entanglements, tragedies and achievements which paralleled his spurts and stops in design exploration and discovery. Willard's introduction states, ""he is one of the immortals,"" but her obvious bias is no drawback. Even Wright's critics acknowledge the aesthetic fascination and practical inventiveness of his concepts as expressed and examined here in such outstanding examples as the Robie House, Taliesin East and West, Fallingwater, and the Johnson Wax Building. Neither has the author's admiration obscured or ignored the unpleasant aspects of Wright's personality -- his foolish extravagance, sometimes boorish showmanship, and rude impatience and intolerance are all here. Though the first third of the work especially is handicapped by occasional repetition, references to ""hippies,"" etc., and some fictionalizing on the young Wright's thoughts and dreams, the rewards include the easy acquisition of provocative architectural theories along with accounts of the master's eccentricities and dramas. The final commentary on Wright's work by Pei, Mies, and other architects and critics provides a stimulating conclusion.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972