Harry Bertoia’s abstract sculptures manifest his deeply spiritual contemplations of nature and the cosmos. His wire sculptures of the 1960s, such as the present lot, are among his most complex investigations of the universe. Hundreds of intersecting wires are welded together, many terminating in coiled bronze elements, culminating in a dense mass of ordered chaos. Its energy vibrates like molecules moving through space, but its monumental scale evokes a shower of comets traversing a galaxy. While the sculpture’s delicate composition invites close inspection, its imposing stature demands distance to behold the vastness of its form in its entirety. In this work, it is as though Bertoia expresses both his longing for understanding of the universe as well as his reverence for its unfathomable mysteries. Bertoia explored these themes in related wire construction sculptures, such as Comet (1964) in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art, and Sunlit Straw (1964), an installation at the Northwestern National Life Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The beauty and complexity of the present lot distinguish it as a masterwork within Beroia’s prolific body of work.
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