, Long Island City, New York

Untitled 04 by Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia Biography

Harry Bertoia

San Lorenzo, Italy -

An established Italian-born American artist, Harry Bertoia is a well-known sculptor, printmaker and painter, specializing in KINETIC art.

A sculptor of kinetic objects, many of them with mazes of thin rods that appear brush like, Harry Bertoia was trained at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and then at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, Michigan, where he later taught and established the metalworking department. During this time, he began experimenting with jewelry forms and explored ideas that would later emerge into his sculpture.

In 1943, he moved to Venice, California and worked with designer Charles Eames in war efforts until 1946. That first year, he attended a welding class at Santa Monica City College. In 1947, he moved to La Jolla to work in the Point Loma Navel Electronics Laboratory in the publications department creating training manuals for equipment operators. During this time, he continued making jewelry and monoprints and began his first experiments with metal sculpture.

In 1949, he moved to Barto, Pennsylvania where he joined Hans Knoll in Knoll Associates. He became a prolific architectural sculptor. His first commission was a screen for the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. His first sculpture exhibition was in 1951 at the Knoll Showroom in New York.

It was his custom not to sign his works because he believed that the piece itself was a signature, that what he created belonged to the universe, and that a signature called attention to the artist rather than the work of art.

SELECTED MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS - Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC - Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas - Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri - Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania - Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida - Walker Art Center, Minnesota

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