In this work by Harry Bertoia, straws of brass-coated steel are arranged together elegantly

Harry Bertoia

American, 1915–1978

Untitled (Straw Piece), 1950s

Melted brass-coated steel 

18 x 22 x 6 inches

When asked how he got his ideas, Bertoia replied, “By working like hell. I’m in this studio from 9 to 5. I know that runs against people’s notions of creativity.”

Wire sculptures were the first sculptures Bertoia experimented with. He was fascinated by the way light danced in the spaces between the wires. The present straw-like work is an example of Bertoia’s melt-coated wire sculptures, created primarily from the 1940s to the 1960s. These sculptures vary in scale from the tabletop type presented here to large-scale commissions up to 50 feet wide across. This is a beautiful example of the delicate nature of Bertoia’s work, fully demonstrating his dedication to his art.

In this work by Harry Bertoia, straws of brass-coated steel are arranged together elegantly