PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas January February 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 115

BEYOND DIAMOND CHAIRS AND DANDELION SCULPTURES S eventy years ago, Harry Bertoia (1915- 1978) came up with his greatest hit for K n o l l F u r n i t u r e while tinkering out of a former garage turned workshop in the hamlet of Bally, eastern Pennsylvania. The diamond chair and eponymous Bertoia collection that followed, still in production, were the result of a friendship with a fellow Cranbrook alum, Florence Knoll, that revolutionized modern furniture. For most design and architectural acolytes, that was the end of the conversation. Until now. Expect that all to change this month, thanks to the Nasher Sculpture Center and its inquisitive chief curator, Jed Morse, and his collaborator, independent art historian Dr. Marin R. Sullivan (a specialist in sculpture as it relates to photography, design, and the built environment, who directs the Harry Bertoia Catalogue Raisonné project). The pioneering curatorial pair have put together a compelling, very now exhibit that will transform our view of the sculptor/designer/monotype maker/jeweler/public-art creator/ sound artist forever — opening up fresh, rich art-historical chapters in the book of Bertoia. Dallas is the only venue for "Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life," so we predict the Nasher Sculpture Center will become a pilgrimage site over the run of the exhibition this spring, as devotees of modern and contemporary design travel to Texas for the artist's most comprehensive American museum retrospective ever presented. Visitors will encounter some 100 works loaned from public and private holdings, ranging from a delicate hammered- brass centipede to a rare chaise longue prototype. There's a robust spilled-cast bronze, as well as lacy sculptures that conjure dandelions and constellations formed from polished bronze and brazed-steel wire. (Fortuitously, "Harry Bertoia" overlaps with the opening days of the Dallas Art Fair 2022.) Two important pendants for this exhibit are, respectively, a must- acquire and a must-experience. Begin with the accompanying catalog, which brims with key new scholarship told in chapters by Morse and Marin, as well as guest BRILLIANT, INVENTIVE BERTOIA REDISCOVERED AT NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER FIVE DECADES AFTER HIS PASSING, HARRY BERTOIA GET A FRESH LOOK ALIGNED WITH OUR INTERDISCIPLINARY TIMES. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON Harry Bertoia, circa 1970s COURTESY HARRY BERTOIA FOUNDATION 32

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity Dallas January February 2022