Modern Design /03 October 2004

394

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Firey Circle)
USA, 1955
welded copper and bronze with patina
58 w × 17 d × 68 h in (147 × 43 × 173 cm)

This early sculpture is a masterpiece of Bertoia's constructive process that predates the Bush and Willow tree forms developed in the 1960s. Composed of thousands of wires that have been brazed together, the assemblage takes on aspects of wind-generated movement that is contradicted by the rigidity of the material. Small, linear elements, coupled with green and purple patina make the sculpture appear as an abstract expressionist painting in three dimensions. The scale and flat composition make this form perfectly suited to be used architecturally as a space divider in a room. Firey Circle was exhibited at Staempfli Gallery in New York among other large-scale sculptures that as a group predict the many sculptural forms Bertoia went on to refine over the next two decades. Exhibited: Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA The Bertoia Legacy: Sound and Motion, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, November 29, 1990- February 3, 1991, illustrated in cover Literature: The World of Bertoia, Schiffer and Bertoia, pg. 91 illustrates this sculpture in an exhibition at Staempfli Gallery, New York, from the 1960s.

provenance: Collection of the artist Brigitta Bertoia Private collection

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $50,400

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Harry Bertoia 1915–1978

Harry Bertoia was a true Renaissance man well versed in the language of art and design. Born in San Lorenzo, Italy in 1915, Bertoia relocated to the United States at the age of fifteen and enrolled at Cass Technical High School in Detroit to study hand-made jewelry. In 1937, Bertoia was awarded a scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where he studied under the direction of Maija Grotell and Walter Gropius. Bertoia was drawn to the mostly empty metal shop, and after two years in the program, Bertoia was invited to head the department.

At Cranbrook, Bertoia was introduced to a number of designers whose names would become synonymous with mid-century modern design. Here he met Eero Saarinen, with whom he would collaborate on numerous architectural projects, and Charles and Ray Eames with whom, for a short period during the war, he would work for at the Molded Plywood Division of Evans Products in California. In 1950, Bertoia moved east to Pennsylvania to open his own studio and to work with Florence Knoll designing chairs. Bertoia designed five chairs out of wire that would become icons of the period, all of them popular and all still in production today.

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Auction Results Harry Bertoia

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Multi-Plane Construction) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Multi-Plane Construction)
estimate: $500,000–700,000
result: $420,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $408,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Hanging Hemisphere) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Hanging Hemisphere)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $384,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Dandelion) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Dandelion)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $348,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Untitled (Monumental Sonambient) from the Standard Oil Commission | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Monumental Sonambient) from the Standard Oil Commission
estimate: $300,000–500,000
result: $341,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $341,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Dandelion) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Dandelion)
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $284,500

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Dandelion) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Dandelion)
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $278,500

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $300,000–400,000
result: $276,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Important and Monumental sculptures from Stemmons Towers, Dallas | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Important and Monumental sculptures from Stemmons Towers, Dallas
estimate: $300,000–400,000
result: $263,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $227,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (monumental Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (monumental Sonambient)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $221,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Tree Form) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Tree Form)
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $192,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Dandelion) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Dandelion)
estimate: $200,000–300,000
result: $192,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $180,000–220,000
result: $180,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Untitled (Bush Form) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Bush Form)
estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $161,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $158,500

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Welded Form) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Welded Form)
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $156,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $149,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (monumental Bush form) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (monumental Bush form)
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $146,500

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $138,000

HARRY BERTOIA, Important early teapot | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

Important early teapot
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $136,900

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Sonambient) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Sonambient)
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $132,000

HARRY BERTOIA, untitled (Tonal Sculpture) | Wright20.com

Harry Bertoia

untitled (Tonal Sculpture)
estimate: $60,000–80,000
result: $132,000

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