Harry Bertoia (1915-1978)
Artist, sound art sculptor and modern furniture designer, Harry Bertoia achieved huge commercial success during a glittering yet controversial career. Born in San Lorenzo, Italy in 1915, Bertoia made the radical decision to move to America at the tender age of 15 and soon earned a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
A real genius and artistic flair are evident within Bertoia’s work and the Italian-born designer incorporated his sculptural skills when creating his furniture pieces. Material and production techniques were also intrinsic to Bertoia’s design process and he pushed the creative barriers with his works. Bertoia once commented on his own collection of welded steel chairs, "If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them."
Despite his Italian origin, Bertoia’s work is celebrated throughout the States and can be found showcased at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Massachusetts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, amongst many others.