HARRY BERTOIA | UNTITLED (CLOUD)
Property from the Family of Karl Fink and Sona Holman Fink
39 x 62 x 9 in. (99 x 147.5 x 22.8 cm)
Overall in excellent condition. The brass-coated surfaces present with very minor oxidation, consistent with the natural aging process of the material over time. Some square elements with surface irregularities that are inherent and signature to the production process of Harry Bertoia. Some wire elements with very slight bending, possibly inherent to the production process. An imaginative piece that captures Bertoia's fascination with nature as well as demonstrates his technical abilities as an expert sculptor in metal.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Acquired directly from the artist by the original owner, circa 1962
Thence by descent to the present owner
Nancy N. Schiffer and Val O. Bertoia, The World of Bertoia, Atglen, PA, 2003, pp. 87-88 (for related cloud sculptures)
Beverly H. Twitchell, Bertoia, New York, 2019, p. 157 (for a related cloud sculpture)
This lot is offered together with a certificate of authenticity from the Harry Bertoia Foundation, Bozeman, Montana.
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. Intersecting wires are welded together, many terminating in square bronze elements, culminating in a dense mass of ordered chaos. 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 Bertoia’s prolific body of work.