Category Archives: Our Artists

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry Studio

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. Mr.
Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In subsequent years, Mr. Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned five decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has earned Mr. Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, the Pritzker Prize, the Wolf Prize in Art (Architecture), the Praemium Imperiale Award, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Friedrich Kiesler Prize, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal.

Notable projects include: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the DZ Bank Building in
Berlin; Nationale-Nederlanden Building in Prague; the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge in
Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois; Maggie’s Centre, a cancer patient center in Dundee,
Scotland; Hotel Marques de Riscal in El Ciego, Spain; Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas,
Nevada; the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida; Princeton University Peter B. Lewis
Science Library in Princeton, New Jersey; Art Gallery of Ontario Renovation in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Projects under
construction include the Signature Theatre in New York City; the 8 Spruce Street Residential
Tower located in New York City; the Make it Right Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana and
the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mr. Gehry is also completing design work on
the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, France; LUMA
Foundation in Arles, France and the University of Technology, Sydney in Sydney, Australia.

Richard Serra

 

Richard Serra was born in San Francisco in 1939. After studying at the University of California at Berkeley and at Santa Barbara, he graduated in 1961 with a BA in English literature. During this time, he began working in steel mills in order to support himself. In 1964, he graduated from Yale University with both a BFA and an MFA. Receiving a Yale Traveling Fellowship, he spent a year in Paris, followed by a year in Florence funded by a Fullbright grant.

Serra’s early work in the 1960s focused on the industrial materials that he had worked with as a youth in West Coast steel mills and shipyards: steel and lead. A famous work from this time involved throwing lead against the walls of his studio. Though his casts were created from the impact of the lead hitting the walls, the emphasis of the piece was really on the process of creating it: raw aggression and physicality, combined with a self-conscious awareness of material and a real engagement with the space in which it was worked.

Since those Minimalist beginnings, Serra’s work has become famous for that same physicality, but one that is now compounded by the breathtaking size and weight that the pieces have acquired. His series of “Torqued Ellipses” (1996–99), which comprise gigantic plates of towering steel, bent and curved, leaning in and out, carve very private spaces from the necessarily large public sites in which they have been erected. Serra’s most recent public work includes the 60-foot-tall “Charlie Brown” (1999; named for the Peanuts comic-strip character in honor of its author, Charles Schultz, who had died that year), which has been erected in the courtyard of an office building in San Francisco. He lives in New York and Nova Scotia.

Elizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray was born in Chicago in 1940. She earned a BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California. She began painting at an early age and was encouraged to pursue her art by her parents. In high school she had a teacher who had a passion for the arts and encouraged her to experiment.

Today Ms. Murray’s distinctively constructed paintings jut out from the wall in sculptural form, blurring the line between paintings in two dimensional form and painting as objects. She uses watercolors playfully and brings to life everyday objects, such as cups, drawers, utensils, chairs, and tables. These familiar objects are matched with cartoonish fingers and floating eyeballs, images that are as nightmarish as they are goofy. Taken as a whole, Murray’s paintings are abstract compositions rendered in bold colors and multiple layers of paint. But the details of the paintings reveal a fascination with dream states and the psychological aspect of domestic life.

The recipient of many awards, Murray received the Skowhegan Medal in Painting in 1986, the Larry Aldrich Prize in Contemporary Art in 1993, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award in 1999. Her work is featured in many collections, including the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Murray died at her home in New York on August 12, 2007.

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis is the second of six sons born into a musical family in New Orleans. Wynton received his first trumpet at six and played in public at age seven. At fourteen he made his debut with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra. A straight-A student, Marsalis graduated from high school with honors and entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York City at age eighteen. In the summer of 1980, the young trumpeter joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. The next year Marsalis toured with Herbie Hancock, who later produced his first album. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Marsalis took jazz bands to thirty countries on six continents, performing more than 120 concerts a year. Over the past few years he has concentrated on composing, studying, and teaching, as well as performing and recording. He has scored music for dance, movies, and television.

Since his first self-titled debut album was released in 1982, Marsalis has recorded over thirty jazz and classical albums on major record labels. He has been nominated for fifteen Grammy awards and to date has won six for his jazz recordings and two for classical recordings.

Wynton has devoted a great deal of time and effort to music education. He co-founded the internationally acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center program, which includes his popular Sunday series, Jazz for Young People. While on the road with his bands and with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Marsalis regularly conducts master classes in local schools.

His prominent position in the performing arts was secured in April 1997, when he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music for his work Blood on the Fields, commissioned by JALC. Additionally, Wynton was named one of “America’s 25 Most Influential People” by Time magazine and one of “The 50 Most Influential Boomers” by Life magazine in recognition of his critical role in stimulating an increased awareness of jazz. In March 2001, Mr. Marsalis was awarded the United Nations designation of “Messenger of Peace” by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and in June 2002, received the Congressional “Horizon Award.”

Gregory Hines

 

Involved in show business from childhood, Gregory Hines grew up to be a highly acclaimed tap dancer, choreographer, dramatic and comic actor, singer, and director. When he was five years old he teamed with his older brothers in a dance act called the Hines Kids. The Hines Kids spent much of their early careers dancing at the Apollo Theater, a famous club in Harlem in New York. At age eight, he debuted on Broadway in the musical The Girl in Pink Tights (1954). After a ten-year stint on the nightclub circuit and on television. Gregory left his brothers to form a jazz-rock group. He eventually came back to New York, where he launched a distinguished Broadway career that garnered him a Tony (for playing Jelly Roll Morton in George C. Wolfe’s musical tribute Jelly’s Last Jam in 1992), three additional Tony nominations, and a Theater World Award.

Gregory made his feature-film debut in Mel Brooks’ all-star farce The History of the World, Pt. I. In film, Hines has proven himself a versatile actor and he has starred in everything from musical dramas in which he showed off his dancing ability (The Cotton Club and White Nights, in which he starred opposite ballet superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov), to straight dramas (The Preacher’s Wife), comedy (Renaissance Man), sci-fi/horror (Wolfen), and action films (Running Scared). In 1994, Hines made his directorial bow with Bleeding Hearts. In 1997, he starred in the CBS family comedy The Gregory Hines Show as a single father who has trouble reentering the dating scene, followed by appearances on such popular small screen staples as Will and Grace. In addition he provided voice work for the Blues Clues adventure Big Blue’s Threasure Hunt and the popular children’s series Little Bill. Moving into the new millennium Hines appeared in such features as Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (2000) and the made-for-television biopic Bojangles (2001), in which he portrayed the title role of legendary dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Following a supporting role in the television series Lost at Home, Hines made his final film appearance in the 2003 feature The Root.

On August 9, 2003, Gregory Hines died in Los Angeles at 57, and the lights of Broadway were dimmed in his honor three days after his untimely death.

Alan Gampel


 

Born into an artistic family that includes the legendary harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, Alan Gampel made his debut playing Beethoven variations at the age of seven at the Hollywood Bowl. He was honored with The Special Award in the Arts from UNICEF at age eight and with the Presidential Scholars Award at the White House at age sixteen. After graduating from Stanford University and completing a graduate degree at the University of Southern California, he moved to Paris. Auditions for eminent musicians including Sir Georg Solti, Yehudi Menuhin and Daniel Barenboim led to studies and performances throughout Europe.

In 1995, Alan Gampel received the coveted Chopin Prize at the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Israel. Among his other awards, he received a top prize at the Naumburg International Piano Competition in New York and was unanimously awarded the Special Mozart Bicentenary Prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition.

Alan’s performances include engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Irish National Symphony, and Czech Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared in recital in the United States at the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, in New York’s Frick Collection Series and Mostly Mozart Festival; in London at Wigmore Hall, in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Auditorium du Louvre, and Musee d’Orsay, in Rome at the Teatro Ghione, and in Istanbul on the International Pianist Series.

During the 2000 season, Alan gave an extensive international recital tour celebrating Chopin’s 150th anniversary. He incorporated numerous informal appearances at public schools in conjunction with this tour. Over the years his passion for introducing classical music to young people has led him to make these voluntary children’s concerts a staple of his tours. He recently created the Joy2Learn Foundation bringing arts into classrooms across America.

Hector Elizondo

Hector Elizondo
 

Award-winning actor Hector Elizondo has a successful career spanning 40 years that includes film, television, theater and radio. A native New Yorker, Elizondo first gained recognition on the New York stage for his portrayal of ‘God’ in “Steambath,” which earned him an Obie Award. High praise followed for his Broadway roles in Neil Simon’s “Prisoner of Second Avenue,” “The Great White Hope,” “Sly Fox,” for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” alongside Eli Wallach at the Roundabout Theatre.

Elizondo’s numerous television appearances began with guest starring roles on now classic episodes of “Columbo,” “All in the Family” and “Kojak.” Hector received another Best Supporting Actor nomination for his riveting performance in the two-character drama “Mrs. Cage,” for PBS’s acclaimed series “American Playhouse.”

In 1997, Elizondo won the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of ‘Dr. Phillip Watters’ on CBS’ “Chicago Hope.” For six years on the show, Elizondo delivered a heartfelt and poignant performance that earned him four Emmy nominations, while creating a character that will be etched in television history for a long time to come.

In film,Elizondo recently starred in “Tortilla Soup,” an English-language film based on Ang Lee’s romantic comedy, “Eat Drink Man Woman” for Samuel Goldwyn Pictures.

Directed by Mafia Ripoll and produced by John Bard Manulis, the film garnered rave reviews. In addition, Elizondo was also be seen starring alongside Julie Andrews and newcomer Anne Hathaway in the Gary Marshall film, “The Princess Diaries” for Disney.

“Princess Diaries” is Elizondo’s thirteenth Garry Marshall film, among others which includes “Young Doctors in Love,” “The Flamingo Kid,” “Nothing in Common” with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason and “Runaway Bride,” which re-teamed Elizondo with “Pretty Woman’s” Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. “Pretty Woman” is one of Elizondo’s most renowned performances, winning him a Movie Award as well as nominations for both a Golden Globe and an American Comedy Award. Other film credits include: “Beverly Hills Cop III,” “Getting Even With Dad,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Final Approach,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Taking Care of Business,” “American Gigolo,” “The Fan,” “Leviathan,” “Report to the Commissioner” and “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3.”

Elizondo recently received the Diversity Award’s prestigious “Integrity Award” as well as Nosotros’ “Lifetime Achievement Award ” for the quality of roles he has chosen during his career. He is often asked to be a guest speaker and serve as a role model for children. He is an avid supporter of several charitable organizations including The Alzheimer’s Association, Amnesty International, The American Cancer Society and Pediatric Aids.

Hector is an accomplished musician and singer, performing on the conga, flute and guitar. He and his wife Carolee live in Sherman Oaks, California.