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Harry Bertoia

American, born Italy, 1915 - 1978

Untitled, ca. 1966

  • On View


Dimensions: 22 × 39 1/4 × 7 3/4 in. (55.9 × 99.7 × 19.7 cm)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Martin, 1967.27

In this sculpture, Bertoia rejected the traditional method of casting bronze, where a mold determines the shape, seeking instead to find a technique where process and chance create the form. His solution was to pour the molten bronze onto sand and then “sculpt” it with a long-handled tool as it cooled. The artist’s interaction is spontaneous, with a combination of control and chance determining the final outcome. Italian-born Harry Bertoia came of artistic age after World War II, when the reigning aesthetic in painting was Abstract Expressionism. No equivalent aesthetic existed in sculpture, but Untitled reflects the interest in experimentation and uniqueness of style characteristic of the postwar movement. Bertoia was interested in modern design and innovative use of materials and process, making him the ideal artist to capture this aesthetic in three-dimensional form.

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