Home / Art

Master Architect Frank Gehry Designs Koi Lamps Gracefully “Swimming” in Mid-Air

Architect Frank Gehry is famous throughout the world for his modern, dynamic buildings that boast awe-inspiring designs. What he’s less well-known for, however, is his work in the fine art world. Between 1984 and 1986, he produced Fish Lamps, a series of illuminated sculptures featuring graceful koi whose bodies twist and turn as if they’re swimming through water.

Gehry’s exploration into this realm of creatures influenced his later architectural work. The fish became a motif in his buildings, appearing as undulating, curvilinear forms present on designs like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

In 2012, Gehry revisited his Fish Lamps series and created an entirely new school of them. Like his designs from the 20th century, he constructed them using a material called ColorCore, a laminate often used for countertops or desks. The updated pieces are each made by hand and feature a combination of curled and flexed elements. When lit, they cast a warm glow that travels throughout the Gagosian Gallery space—here, his pieces hang from the ceiling and rest slightly elevated above the floor.

Fish Lamps are on view at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome until September 16, 2016.

Frank Gehry: Website
Gagosian Gallery: Website | Facebook | Instagram

via [The Creators Projects]

All photos by Matteo D'Eletto.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content