Fish lamp, 2014
  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Luc Castel

  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Louis-Marie

    Dauzat

  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Félix Cornu

  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Mazen

    Saggar

  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Mazen

    Saggar

Gehry has regularly worked with sculpture and design, applying the same sensibility he brings to his architectural practice, and experimenting with unexpected materials.

He used corrugated cardboard for Easy Edges (1969-73) and Experimental Edges (1979-82), and bentwood for a collection of furniture for Knoll (1989-93). His first Fish Lamps were commissioned by Formica in 1983, made from the then-new plastic laminate, ColorCore. Gehry covered metal frames with broken shards of the material to represent scales; the light source within is modulated by this fragmented cover and the colour variations in the material. The series was continued in 2012 on a larger scale. These sculptural designs reflect Gehry’s longstanding fascination with the fish, which has become a signature motif in his work.  He attached one to a building (Kobe, 1986), created a version in glass (Minneapolis, 1986) and then a giant metal fish sculpture (Barcelona, 1992). Gehry sometimes attributes this fascination to childhood memories of his grandmother’s carp. The fish is a constantly moving form, which he has translated into the twists of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago (2004), the Marqués Riscal Vineyard Hotel in Elciego (2006) and the iridescent curves of the Experience Music Project (now the Museum of Pop Culture) in Seattle (2000).