1 of 10 images

1940s Monotype by Harry Bertoia


In her excellent monograph, Harry Bertoia, Printmaker, June Kompass Nelson describes the significance of Bertoia's prints to his sculpture. "Fantasy and geometry are the two major components of Bertoia's imagery during the forties, and both were eventually translated from graphics into metal sculpture". This monotype suggests a sculptural, fantasy landscape, and beautifully exemplifies the artist's fascination with abstract, "stream of consciousness" imagery. Using a very delicate line, Bertoia also reveals his interest in exploring negative and positive space. A unique impression on rice paper. Measures: Framed: 14.5 x 16 Monotype: 6 x 8.


  • Date of manufacture
  • Period
  • Condition
    Good. a strong impression, minor paper loss in margin museum quality gold leaf frame with museum glass.
  • Dimensions

    H 8 in. x W 6 in. x D 0.75 in.

    H 20.32 cm x W 15.24 cm x D 1.91 cm

  • Seller location
    Winnetka, IL
  • Reference number

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

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

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Typical response time: 1 hr
Located in Winnetka, IL
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
Herbert Bayer's 1940 Harper's Bazaar Cover
Herbert Bayer
American Prints
Herbert Bayer's iconic cover design of multiple faces for the August 1940 issue of Harper's Bazaar. This is the complete magazine. Scarce. An important addition to a collection of 20...
Ben Nicholson, "Flowing Forms," Etching, 1966
Ben Nicholson
English Prints
"Flowing Forms," an abstract etching on wove paper of a fluid, linear composition by the influential British artist Ben Nicholson (1894-1982). Nicholson's work, often focusing on sim...
Joseph Albers Screen Print "Equivocal" from Hom...
Josef Albers
American Prints
A luminous color screen print titled "Equivocal" on white wove paper by the Bauhaus master Josef Albers (1888-1976). This work is from the boxed portfolio of 10 screen prints, editio...
Harry Callahan, "Grasses, Wisconsin," Signed Ph...
Harry Callahan
American Photography
A gelatin silver print by the widely-respected, innovative American photographer Harry Callahan (1912-1999). Self-taught, Callahan's photography often focused on personal images from...
You May Also Like
"Three Gongs" -- A Monotype by Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia
American Paintings
Harry Bertoia was partial to the monotype. Effectively an ink painting transferred directly to paper, the monotype is classified as a print because it is created by making an impress...
Behind the Bushes, Limited Edition Serigraph by...
Romero Britto
American Contemporary Art
Wood, Paint, Paper
Limited edition Pop Art silkscreen print by Romero Britto. Sold out edition titled "Behind the Bushes", numbered 107/300. The serigraph features Britto's trademark bold colors with a...
World Trade Center Framed Print by Isack Kousnsky
Isack Kousnsky
American Photography
This uniquely framed photograph captures a pre 9/11 World Trade Center through the lens of artist Isack Kousnsky. Known for his colorful interpretations of photographic genius, this ...
French Modern Period New Wave Style Perrier Adv...
Bernard Villemot
French Posters
This is a French modern period New Wave style advertising poster for Perrier by Bernard Villemot. It is an exquisitely crafted and wildly colorful abstract image of the figures of a ...
Beautiful Geometric Print by Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
French Prints
Wonderful abstract lithograph with geometric motif created by father of OP-Art Victor Vasarely in France in the 1970s. Signed and numbered 139/250 at bottoms. Image size: 39 x 39 c...
'Grid-Lock' Print by Tine Semb
Tine Semb
Norwegian Prints
Digital print from drawing [2010] on 120 g paper, mounted on KAPAfix. Glass and solid ash frames. Approx. 60 x 90 cm / 23,62 x 35,43". Unique, 2012. Exhibited at Beers.L...
"Sculptural Objects" Lithograph by Henry Moore ...
Henry Moore
British Contemporary Art
Limited edition of 24/450, numbered in pencil, plate signed "Moore 49". Lithograph in colors, published by School Prints, Ltd and printed in Great Britain by W.S. Cowell, Ltd.
Signed and Numbered Lenticular Lightograph by Y...
Agam Yaacov
Israeli Decorative Art
A signed Agam and numbered 70/99 lenticular lightoghraph from the three-piece celebration series from 1990. The image changes depending from where you look at it. Newly framed in a c...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries