New York

Frank Gehry

Metro Pictures

Frank Gehry had a hunch, and it was a good one—to combine Formica, light, and the forms of snakes and fish to make a series of lamps. These fantastic, glowing beasts formed a menagerie in the darkened gallery, demonstrating that a place still exists for informed intuition in art and design. Gehry is not reaching for complicated territory in this series, or for any polemical peak; he has simply taken a material and applied it unconventionally to create shapes and images with personal resonance.

Gehry began this series of lamps two years ago, when the Formica Corporation invited ten architects to develop ideas using a new product called Colorcore. (The product is a laminate like Formica yet is colored throughout rather than only on the surface; the unsightly dark edges of Formica now show tints.) Gehry approached this marketing strategy with both dissension and verve. Instead of developing

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1985 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.