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HARRY BERTOIA (1915-1978)

 
Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful? Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it.  Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful?
Untitled (Suspended Willow)c. 196871 1/2 x 39 x 39 in. steel and steel wire
Provenance
Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wright Auctions, Chicago, Illinois, 12 December 2013
Private Collection, California
Heather James Fine Art, California
Private Collection, California, 2019

125,000

Harry Bertoia’s Willow sculpture resonates as an expression of grace and delicacy; qualities that bely the usual associations we have with the intrinsic properties of the alloy of which it is made. This suspended version – the rare version of Willow - seems to have a self-aware presence; one that delights in that contrast of properties. Yet it invites nothing more than existential pleasure in the viewing of it. Think of Willow as a boldly articulated version of Calder if the latter master had a more organic or corporeal evocation in mind. Suspended, it commands its area yet respects its spatial relationship to its surround. Light, form, space – these are conceptual tools of the sculptor. But who else would think to use reflective material more readily associated with inflexibility and tensor strength to create a bouquet of cascading strands of stainless steel, suspended in space, flora-like and so gracefully beautiful?
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