Harry Bertoia Sounding Pieces

As Bertoia was working on a sculpture that consisted of several standing rods, he accidentally broke a rod, causing it to crash into another rod, resulting in a sound that resonated deeply with the artist. According to Bertoia himself, this sound “initiated a deliberate gesture in search of understanding what a group of wires would do.” Throughout the 1960s, Bertoia created over 100 sound sculptures consisting of rows of flexible copper rods that sway when touched or blown, producing various tones depending on the length and mass of the rods. He referred to this sonorous atmosphere as Sonambient, the resulting environment created by the gentle clangor of the rods. These two pieces are early examples of the artist’s interaction with sound, evidenced by the brass cylinders atop the rods and the padded feet beneath the base.

– Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

Click on these links to listen to
each of the sounding pieces:

Lot 223: Bertoia Sounding Piece with narrow cylindrical caps

Lot 222: Bertoia Sounding Piece with wide cylindrical caps

Lot 222: Bertoia Sounding Piece with wide cylindrical caps, alternate take

Lot Information:

Lot 222
Harry Bertoia
Sounding piece
Studio, executed circa 1965
Sold with packing crate made by Harry Bertoia
45.25″h x 12″ x 12″
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
$40,000 – 60,000

Lot 223
Harry Bertoia
Sounding piece
Studio, executed circa 1965
Sold with packing crate made by Harry Bertoia
33.5″h x 8″ x 8″
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
$30,000 – 50,000

Schiffer, Nancy N., and Val O. Bertoia. The World of Bertoia. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, 2003. Print.
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One response to “Harry Bertoia Sounding Pieces

  1. Pingback: The Lost Harry Bertoia Brooch | Los Angeles Modern Auctions Blog

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