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Harry Bertoia Works

Harry Bertoia - 1941-42, pencil signed and dated 1942, also stamp signed and dated 1941 in the plate. Monotype in colors on rice paper. image: 11 3/4 x 8 in. (29.8 x 20.32 cm) sheet: 15 1/2 x 11 in. (39.4 x 27.9cm)

Preface By Tony Seraphin

I first met Harry in 1972, when I approached him about showing some of his sculpture in my gallery. I was taken aback by his gentleness and that wonderful smile that teachers have with

young students. Over the next few years my wife and I would go out to his studio in Bally to see new works, but best of all to the stone farm house in the woods he shared with Brigitta.

Those are memories I will always cherish, sitting in the living room viewing snow on the ground through the window and a fire blazing with ten people all talking about art, politics and other subjects that kept us there until 2:00am. I knew Harry was an important artist, but he was also a great humanitarian, he loved people, even young people like myself who didn't grasp the entire statements he made about art. He just enjoyed being with people who loved art.

I only had one show with Harry in 1973. I realized early that his tonals touched all the basic senses, unlike static sculpture. Harry's austere works could transform a gallery into a music hall and everyone was a composer. However, on the walls were his mysterious lyrical colorful drawings, or mono-prints, and they told much more about Harry's inner thoughts and feelings over forty years. Each was unique, gentle, and at times reminded the viewer of being under the sea in a magical land of fantasy. Harry many times did these drawings late at night in another studio behind his home. One can imagine the stillness of the night and Harry releasing his thoughts through the flow of his hand across the paper. It is these four decades of delicate drawings that I feel will become precious objects in world class collections and it will be these drawings that take a person into the world of Harry Bertoia.

Harry Bertoia (March 10, 1915 – November 6, 1978[1]) was an Italian-born American artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer.

Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo d'Arzene, Pordenone, Italy. At age 15, given the opportunity to move to Detroit, Harry chose to adventure to America and live with his older brother, Oreste. After learning English and the bus schedule, he enrolled in Cass Technical High School, where he studied art and design and learned the skill of handmade jewelry making ca.1930–1936. At that time, there were three jewelry and metals teachers Louise Green, Mary Davis, and Greta Pack. In 1936 he attended the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, now known as the College for Creative Studies. The following year in 1937 he received a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he encountered Walter Gropius, Edmund N. Bacon, Ray and Charles Eames, and Florence Knoll for the first time.

The published book includes NY critic Donald Kuspit’s 4-page critique

Seraphin Gallery Harry Bertoia Catalogue

Harry Bertoia: Four Decades of Drawing 120 Page, Fully Illustrated Catalogue Essays by Donald Kuspit and Anne Fabbri Biography by Celia Bertoia 

Harry Bertoia 1915–1978 Untitled (Monotype) c. 1945, provenance: Brigitta Bertoia, wooden blocks pressed in printer's ink and stamped on rice paper 20 h × 26 w in Numbered to lower right '219'.

Harry Bertoia Mono Print 1945

Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978) Untitled Drawing, Signed LR, pen and ink, 11 x 8 1/2 in. Executed in 1977.

Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978) Untitled 1941-42, pencil signed and dated 1942, also stamp signed and dated 1941 in the plate. Monotype in colors on rice paper. image: 11 3/4 x 8 in. (29.8 x 20.32 cm) sheet: 15 1/2 x 11 in. (39.4 x 27.9cm) Unframed.
Harry Bertoia 1915–1978 Untitled (Monotype) c. 1960 monoprint on rice paper 24 h × 39 w in. Inscribed to lower right ‘1157’. Signed to verso ‘HB’. Sold with a certificate of authenticity issued by the Harry Bertoia Foundation.

Harry Bertoia - Color monotype with woodblock on rice paper, circa 1937-1943. 39"x12 1/4" Inscribed "375" in ink, lower right

MonoType, 1960, 37.01" x 25.20"

Harry Bertoia - Untiled 1940 - 40" x 25"
Harry Bertoia, Spray sculpture. Welded steel within a circular steel base. Dimensions: 23" high x 30"

Harry Bertoia Image credit: Anthony Seraphin

Harry Bertoia

1915 - 1978

Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


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