Standing Glass Fish by Frank Gehry

Standing GLass FishStanding Glass Fishsculpturegarden26Gehry's Standing Glass Fish

Originally created for an exhibit at the Walker Art Center, this 1986 sculpture by architect Frank Gehry now stands in the Cowles Conservatory at the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens.

The pool of water the fish stands in is actually dyed black to enhance the sculpture’s reflection.

“Standing Glass Fish” actually looks quite similar to Gehry’s Fish Dance Restaurant in Kobe, Japan, created around the same time. Fish are apparently a reoccurring theme in Gehry’s work, evidenced by this quote:

“It was by accident that I got into the fish image. My colleagues were starting to replay Greek temples. You know in the post-modern thing, I don’t know, when was that … the 80s. That was hot, everybody was re-doing the past. I said, you know, Greek temples are anthropomorphic. And three hundred million years before man was fish. If you wanna, if you gotta go back, if you’re insecure about going forward, dammit, go back three hundred million years. Why are you stopping at the Greeks? So I started drawing fish in my sketchbook. and then I started to realize that there was something in it.”

According to the Guggenheim Museum:

“The fish form first appeared in Gehry’s unrealized design for the Smith Residence in 1981, and it continues to be a recurring motif in his work. Initially a gently mocking response to the postmodern penchant for adapting classical forms, its continued presence is a symbolic allusion to childhood memories and a testament to the functional appeal of the form’s structural flexibility.”

Good to know that the Twin Cities have our own Frank Gehry fish.

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