Rare Harry Bertoia Mobile Tonal Sculpture

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About

An unusually impressive and rare tonal sculpture. It is unique in that it hangs down as compared with his other tonal sculpture that are rising from a base.

Details

    Dimensions
    87 in. H
    221 cm H
  • Diameter
    14
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU80481653522

About Harry Bertoia (Artist)

Sculptor, furniture and jewelry designer, graphic artist and metalsmith, Harry Bertoia was one of the great cross-disciplinarians of 20th-century art and design and a central figure in American modernism. Among furniture aficionados he is known for the wire-lattice “Diamond” chair (and its variants such as the tall-backed “Bird” chair) designed for Knoll Inc. and first released in 1952. As an artist, Bertoia is revered for a style that was his alone. Bertoia’s metal sculptures are by turns expressive and austere, powerful and subtle, intimate in scale and monumental. All embody a tension between the intricacy and precision of Bertoia’s forms and the raw strength of his materials: steel, brass, bronze and copper.

     Fortune seemed to guide Bertoia’s artistic development. Born in northeastern Italy, Bertoia immigrated to the United States at age 15, joining an older brother in Detroit. He studied drawing and metalworking in the gifted student program at Cass Technical High School. Recognition led to awards that culminated, in 1937, in a teaching scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, one of the great crucibles of modernism in America. There, Bertoia made friendships — with architect Eero Saarinen, designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Schust Knoll and others — that shaped the course of his life. He taught metalworking at Cranbrook, and when materials rationing during World War II limited the availability of metals, Bertoia focused on jewelry design. He also experimented with monotype printmaking, and 19 of his earliest efforts were bought by the Guggenheim Museum.

     In 1943, he left Cranbrook to work in California with the Eameses, helping them develop their now-famed plywood furniture. (Bertoia received scant credit.) Late in that decade, Florence and Hans Knoll persuaded him to move east and join Knoll Inc. His chairs became, and remain, perennial bestsellers. Royalties allowed Bertoia to devote himself full-time to metal sculpture, a medium he began to explore in earnest in 1947.

     By the early 1950s Bertoia was receiving commissions for large-scale works from architects — the first came via Saarinen — as he refined his aesthetic vocabulary into two distinct skeins. One comprises his “sounding sculptures” — gongs and “Sonambient” groupings of rods that strike together and chime when touched by hand or by the wind. The other genre encompasses Bertoia’s naturalistic works: abstract sculptures that suggest bushes, flower petals, leaves, dandelions or sprays of grass. As you will see on these pages, Harry Bertoia was truly unique; his art and designs manifest a wholly singular combination of delicacy and strength.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2005

Typical response time: 2 hours

Located in New York, NY

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Rare Harry Bertoia Stainless Steel Wire Sculpture, circa 1960
Rare Harry Bertoia Stainless Steel Wire Sculpture,...
Harry Bertoia
Stainless Steel
Over many years Bertoia worked with various designs using stainless steel. This piece is reminiscent of the spray sculptures but is a rare if not unique form produced during that period...
Rare Harry Bertoia Stainless Steel Wire Sculpture, circa 1960
Rare Harry Bertoia Stainless Steel Wire Sculpture,...
Harry Bertoia
Stainless Steel
Over many years Bertoia worked with various designs using stainless steel. This piece is reminiscent of the spray sculptures but is a rare if not unique form produced during that period...
Harry Bertoia Sculpture Screen Commissioned by Florence Knoll, USA 1959
Harry Bertoia Sculpture Screen Commissioned by Flo...
Harry Bertoia
Brass, Steel
Sculpture screen from a set of ten commissioned by architect and interior designer Florence Knoll for the First National Bank of Miami. The screens were amongst the earliest of approxim...
Harry Bertoia Pressure Melt Sculpture
Harry Bertoia Pressure Melt Sculpture
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Bronze
A unique example of Bertoia's pressure melt technique, wherein metals are heated and subjected to hammer blows to achieve the desired form. This piece is in bronze with a heavy coat of ...
Sonambient Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
Sonambient Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia
Bronze, Copper
An atypical form for Bertoia's (1915 - 1978) sonambients given it's split in the center of the rods. I desirable size for display in the home and a typically wonderful sound quality.
Harry Bertoia Spray Sculpture with Rare Flat Rounded Ends, USA 1960s
Harry Bertoia Spray Sculpture with Rare Flat Round...
Harry Bertoia
Bronze, Stainless Steel
Harry Bertoia's spray sculptures are one of his most identifiable forms and this one has the additional appeal of the flat rounded bronze ends rarely found on the spray sculptures.
Early Kinetic Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
Early Kinetic Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
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An early and rare Kinetic sculpture by Harry Bertoia. The sculpture is made of steel rods with smallish sprouts that seem to grow from the structural base. There is a delicate Kinetic e...
Harry Bertoia Untitled Bronze Welded Rod Sculpture
Harry Bertoia Untitled Bronze Welded Rod Sculpture...
Harry Bertoia
This is one of a series of patinated welded bronze sculptures that Bertoia did in the 1960s and 1970s. His work almost always has an organic quality to it and this piece is an excellent...
Harry Bertoia Early Wire Form Sculpture, Untitled
Harry Bertoia Early Wire Form Sculpture, Untitled
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Steel, Wire
A very early sculpture that represents one of the many stages of Bertoia's experimentation with materials. He felt that "Wire forms have a great range of expressions. Their construction...
Harry Bertoia Patinated Bronze Bush Sculpture, circa 1970
Harry Bertoia Patinated Bronze Bush Sculpture, cir...
Harry Bertoia
An extraordinary example of Bertoi's greatly desired Bush form. It's size and irregular form make this a rare opportunity to acquire an important example of Harry Bertoia's work.
Important Harry Bertoia Sculptures from Stemmons Towers, Dallas
Important Harry Bertoia Sculptures from Stemmons T...
Harry Bertoia
Brass, Bronze
This important grouping of Bertoia sculptures were the centerpiece of the Stemmons Towers International sculpture garden in Dallas, Texas.
Harry Bertoia Bronze Bush Form Sculpture, USA 1960s
Harry Bertoia Bronze Bush Form Sculpture, USA 1960...
Harry Bertoia
Bronze
An example of Bertoia's greatly desired Bush form. This medium size form exemplifies the sculpture's mastery of proportional form.