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Fish lamp

  • 2014
  • Frank Gehry
  • Metal wire, ColorCore Formica and silicone on wood pedestal 17 hanging large scale fish lamps
  • Variable dimensions: fish are typically 1.7 to 1.8 m long, clustered in a space of approximately 5.5 m X 3.2 m. They hung 2.7 m above the ground
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).

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Luc Castel

Frank Gehry

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954 and studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design before opening his own agency in Los Angeles in 1962.

In subsequent years, Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned over six decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has earned Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Pritzker Prize. Notable projects include Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, USA; Eight Spruce Street Residential Tower in New York City, USA; Opus Residential Tower in Hong Kong; Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France; the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building for the University of Technology, in Sydney, Australia; the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, South Korea; the LUMA / Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France. Projects under construction include Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Facebook Campus in Menlo Park, California, USA; the Grand Avenue Project in Los Angeles, California, USA; a new centre for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) in Inglewood, California, USA; the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C., USA; and the Battersea Power Station Development in London, England.

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