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Collection Spotlight for December

Harry Bertoia (Italian/American, 1915-1978)
Untitled, ca. 1960
Bronze sculpture
Overall: 14 ¼ x 8 x 4 inches
Accession #: 1974.005
Gift of Blanche and Henry Rosenberg

Harry Bertoia’s Untitled, ca. 1960 demonstrates his fascination with tonal structures. These tonal structures, or ‘sounding structures’, were created using metal rods, most often beryllium copper, and when touched, struck, or brushed made combinations of gentle and sharp sounds. Bertoia used the term ‘Sonambient’ to describe the auditory and visual sensation these sound structures created. He sought to create a harmonic balance between the metal rods, resulting in pure, unique sounds. The size of the tonal sculptures range from a few inches to more than 20 feet in height. Bertoia produced thousands of these distinctive pieces during his career.

Jackie Murphy, Fall 2015 UWM Art History Galleries Graduate Student Intern