Frank Gehry, Illuminated Pendant Crocodile, 1983, custom-designed for Rebecca’s Restaurant, painted metal and glass. Image courtesy Bonhams.
Two sculptural pendant crocodile designs that once formed the centerpiece of Frank Gehry’s most significant mid-career designs are now for sale at Bonhams as part of the auction house’s first Modern Designs | Art sale of the year.
The pair is predicted to fetch somewhere in the $50,000–70,000 and $30,000–50,000 range respectively when the hammer drops in Los Angeles on March 8th.
The sculptures were created as part of Gehry’s 1983 commission from restaurateurs Bruce and Rebecca Marder for the design of the interior of their then-new Venice, California restaurant called Rebecca’s.
Gehry’s design instantly became the much-discussed backdrop of what for a while was the preferred haunt for Brat Packers and other 80s Hollywood celebrities. Comprised of painted metal and glass, they were originally complemented in the restaurant by a crystal octopus and backlit onyx and will now show alongside rare furniture from Paul Evans, lamp screens from Tiffany, and a superlative lot of more than 3,000 other pieces taken from design collections around the world.
“These pieces are truly one-of-a-kind and represent the pinnacle of Gehry’s exploration of the animal form,” said Bonhams’s specialist David Trujillo. “Combined with superb works by Sam Maloof, Michael and Magdalena Frimkess, and Jack Rogers Hopkins, the sale promises to be replete with Southern California makers in addition to an incredible roster of 20th-century design.”