Fish story! Gehry landed a big one in Chicago!

We all know Frank Gehry likes fish. He turns fish into

lamps

jewelry

kettles

scaly skin

public art

a restaurant!

Even Bilbao looks like a fish’s tailfin swishing left and right.


The story is that little Frank Gehry (Goldberg) played with carp in his Grandma’s bathtub before she cooked them and made gefilte fish. I’ve even heard that his nickname in school was “Fish.” (Was it Fishke?”)

The builders of Millennium Park in Chicago, where Gehry has a bandshell, trellis and bridge, originally asked him just for a fish sculpture to adorn a Skidmore – designed bandshell. Later the entire commission went to him. Most of us love his swirling steel bandshell, his bridge that snakes like a river, and the curving trellis open to the sky, and from which speakers hang.

I sometimes thought his trellis with its x’s looked like a deflated Chicago John Hancock Tower, as if sculptor Claes Oldenburg (a Gehry friend) had deflated the Hancock and laid it on its side in Millennium Park.

And when I saw Gehry’s trellis yesterday, from a window across the street in the Cultural Center, the x’s of the trellis looked more than ever like a fish carcass, washed up from the nearby beach. Like a dead Lake Michigan alewife in the park.

Can you see it in this photo? The bandshell even looks like the tail (a la Bilbao above)

And under the trellis, you do feel like Jonah in the whale.

-E pesce

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