Sotheby’s market defining auction Bertoia – Featuring Masterworks from the Kaare Berntsen Collection includes some of the most important works by the artist to ever come to market. The gallerist Kaare Berntsen is credited with introducing Bertoia’s work to Norway through a series of ground breaking exhibitions that began in Oslo in 1972 until Bertoia’s death in 1978. The close friendship and patronage that developed inspired Bertoia to explore the boundaries of his art, and the works that resulted represent the very pinnacle of his oeuvre. We are delighted to offer 22 works from this productive period, including several exceptional welded undulating bush forms, a number of abstract bronze spill casts, and a series of sounding sculptures (Sonambients) of varying sizes, and configurations.
Other highlights of this diverse 28 lot offering include an exceptional monumental Sonambient sculpture, that was one of three monumental works commissioned by seminal architect Minoru Yamasaki in 1976, for the Colorado National Bank in Denver, an early production Dandelion sculpture, acquired by the present owner from Knoll Associates, circa 1965, and a prototype hanging Willow sculpture from the Seattle First National Bank Commission, 1967. The scope of Bertoia’s jewelry is also well represented with two outstanding pendants, one executed in silver and applied with ebony an coral, circa 1950, the other, a gong form, circa 1970, with a delicately hammered surface texture.