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Adelson Galleries Boston is pleased to exhibit the monotypes and sculpture of Harry Bertoia (1915-1978).

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The Italian-born artis t moved to the United States at age 15 with his father\, and enrolled in th e Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. By 1937\, he was awarded a scholarshi p to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield\, MI\, where he studied und er many famous artists and designers\, such as Walter Gropius. The experien ce was a turning point in Bertoia’s life\, and allowed him to experiment wi th new forms of artwork. He began producing a variety of sculpture as well as one-of-a-kind monotypes (or monoprints)\, whereby he would ink glass\, p ress rice paper onto it\, and then etch designs with tools or his fingers o n the backside of the paper. Each “print” is unique\, and of the many that he made\, no two are alike. In 1943\, Bertoia exhibited 19 of these monotyp es at the Guggenheim Museum of Non-Objective Art in a group show\, alongsid e works by Moholy-Nagy and others. Bertoia continued making monotypes until the end of his life – he could produce them quickly and they were instrume ntal as preliminary drawings for all of his designs.

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Harry Bertoia was an intuitive creator. In the 1950s\, he became well known for his innov ative chair designs at Knoll Furniture. Following his success in furniture design\, architects all over the country commissioned large-scale sculpture by Bertoia\, such as the altar in the MIT chapel. By the 1960s\, he began pioneering “tonal\,” or sound sculpture. Since his childhood\, Harry was en vious of his father and brother’s musical abilities\, so he decided to crea te an instrument that anyone could play. These “tonal” sculptures\, also kn own as Sonambients\, produce a Zen-like\, sometimes haunting\, chime when t ouched. He fabricated gongs as well as “singing bars” – varying in size fro m six inches to twenty feet. None were cast in editions\; thus\, like his m onotypes\, each piece is unique. He created these sculptures to contribute his visions of the world to humanity\; unfortunately\, the creation of the sculptures came with a price. The toxic fumes from welding the beryllium co pper in his sculptures catalyzed his lung cancer and inevitably ended his l ife at 63 years old. Although he saw the end of his life come quickly\, he accepted it gracefully\, and remarked\, “Man is not important. Humanity is what counts\, to which\, I feel\, I have given my contribution” (October 9\ , 1978).

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The monotypes in the exhibition are gathered from the esta te of the artist and show the range of his creative process. The sculptures that we have on display are a small but exemplary sampling of his work. Ou r exhibition focuses on the relationships between his monotypes and sculptu re. Since each monotype acted as a source of inspiration for his sculpture\ , the viewer has the opportunity to trace the mental process of the artist from initial design to final creation.

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Adam Adelson

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Dir ector

DTEND:20130512 DTSTAMP:20140416T214908 DTSTART:20130405 GEO:42.3418101;-71.0664013 LOCATION:Adelson Galleries\,520 Harrison Avenue \n Boston \, MA 02118 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Monotypes and Sculpture\, Harry Bertoia UID:267463 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR