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Fish Lamps by Frank Gehry

About the project:

The Fish Lamps evolved from a 1983 commission by the Formica Corporation to create objects from the then-new plastic laminate ColorCore. After accidentally shattering a piece of it while working, he was inspired by the shards, which reminded him of fish scales. The first Fish Lamps, which were fabricated between 1984 and 1986, employed wire armatures molded into fish shapes, onto which shards of ColorCore are individually glued, creating clear allusions to the morphic attributes of real fish.

Since the creation of the first lamp in 1984, the fish has become a recurrent motif in Gehry’s work, as much for its “good design” as its iconographical and natural attributes. Its quicksilver appeal informs the undulating, curvilinear forms of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1997); the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago (2004); and the Marqués de Riscal Vineyard Hotel in Elciego, Spain (2006) as well as the Fish Sculpture at Vila Olímpica in Barcelona (1989–92) and Standing Glass Fish for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (1986).

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