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Harry Bertoia

   
 

Diamonds are Forever!

   

 

  

 

We have long loved the work of Harry Bertoia, the Italian-born sculptor and furniture designer.  His sculptures--constructions of bronze, copper , steel and glass, combine delicacy with a strangely satisfying earthiness so that the sculptures of brushlike tentacles, or squares of copper and bronze delicately attached to thin metal wires, seem rooted and solid, all with their own eccentric beauty. 

Bertoia attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he met Gropius as well as Charles and Ray Eames.  He later worked with the Eameses as well as on molded plywood and furniture  but left when he felt he was not receiving enough credit for his contributions. 

Bertoia came into his own with the Bertoia Seating collection for Knoll (he had also met Florence Knoll at Cranbrook) and is probably most renowned for his iconic Diamond Lounge Chair--an architectural and sculptural form of bent metal wires that are both delicate and strong.  As Bertoia said, "Space passes through them," and the wire mesh, with its connotations of freedom--this chair with it's undulating permeable surface, was what gave Bertoia his own freedom--its commercial success in the 50's let him work on his sculptures.

Bertoia spent his later years on a series of pieces, what he called his Sonambient' sculptures--where material and form were so structured that they responded and resonated to nature.

But the Diamond Lounge Chair remains the cornerstone of his work--itself a sculpture, light as air.

 

Read: The World of Bertoia, Nancy Schiffer  

Buy: The Diamond Lounge Chair  

 

Tags:  design  furniture  sculpture

 

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