Nasher Sculpture Center presents Harry Bertoia: "Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life" closing day
Italian-born, American artist Harry Bertoia (1915–1978) was one of the most prolific, innovative artists of the postwar period. Trained at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he met future colleagues and collaborators Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and Eero Saarinen, he went on to make one-of-a kind jewelry, design iconic chairs, create thousands of unique sculptures including large-scale commissions for significant buildings, and forward the use of sound as sculptural material. His work speaks to the confluence of numerous fields of endeavor but is united throughout by a sculptural approach to making and an experimental embrace of metal.
Harry Bertoia: "Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life" will be the first large-scale museum examination of the artist’s career in the United States, bringing together close to 100 works from all facets of Bertoia’s extensive and diverse artistic practice. Drawn from public and private collections, the exhibition will feature important examples of his furniture, jewelry, unique works on paper, and varied sculptural production, as well as several of the public commissions and a significant group of Sonambients, Bertoia’s term for his sounding sculptures.
This exhibition questions how and why we distinguish between a chair, a necklace, a screen, and a freestanding sculpture - and what Bertoia’s sculptural things, when seen together, say about the fluidity of visual language across culture, both at mid-century and now.