Untitled (Welded Form), c. 1960
Welded bronze and phoson
18 x 16½ x 16¾ inches
Harry Bertoia was a prominent and prolific mid-twentieth century sculptor, with wide-ranging design ability. Throughout his career he created furniture, jewelry, large-scale screens, city fountains, masterful architectural installations, and innovative sculptures.
The present table-top work echoes the welded forms Bertoia created for large-scale city fountains, with examples in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Chicago, and other cities throughout the United States. For Untitled (Welded Form) Bertoia welded the many phosphorous bronze shot beads, which are like tiny, loose pebbles, onto the surface of the work, resulting in an intricately unique design. The influence of nature that inspired much of Bertoia’s sculpture can be clearly seen in this strikingly organic form. To best channel the natural beauty around him, Bertoia worked in a restored barn on his property in rural Pennsylvania, where he felt close to nature. He liked to place his works outside to become weathered and he felt that his works had a permanence that nature lacked.