Bertoia's Sonambient at Sotheby's

Harry Bertoia, Sonambient

IDEA: Sotheby’s market defining auction 'Bertoia – Featuring Masterworks from the Kaare Berntsen Collection' includes some of the most important works by the artist to ever come to market.

WHAT: Today (nov 16, 2016), 
A highlights of this diverse 28 lot offering include an exceptional monumental Sonambient sculpture, that was one of three monumental works commissioned by seminal architect Minoru Yamasaki in 1976, for the Colorado National Bank in Denver, an early production Dandelion sculpture, acquired by the present owner from Knoll Associates, circa 1965, and a prototype hanging Willow sculpture from the Seattle First National Bank Commission, 1967. The scope of Bertoia’s jewelry is also well represented with two outstanding pendants, one executed in silver and applied with ebony an coral, circa 1950, the other, a gong form, circa 1970, with a delicately hammered surface texture.

WHY: The gallerist Kaare Berntsen is credited with introducing Bertoia’s work to Norway through a series of ground breaking exhibitions that began in Oslo in 1972 until Bertoia’s death in 1978. The close friendship and patronage that developed inspired Bertoia to explore the boundaries of his art, and the works that resulted represent the very pinnacle of his oeuvre.

BY: Harry Bertoia at Sotheby's Auction New York.

Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1970
Beryllium copper and brass 20 3/8 × 8 × 8 in 51.8 × 20.3 × 20.3 cm
Estimated value: $20,000–$30,000


Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1972
Beryllium copper, monel and brass
Estimated value: $30,000–$50,000


Untitled (Monumental Sonambient), circa 1976
Beryllium copper and brass 180 × 36 × 28 in 457.2 × 91.4 × 71.1 cm
Estimated value: $300,000–$400,000

The monumental sound sculptures, and the one commissioned by the Colorado National Bank [lot 28] in particular, o! er such grandeur, presence and sheer impact. Its tone is richly resonant, thunderously deep, and utterly profound. While my father was perhaps best known for his sonambient sculptures, there were only a handful placed in public view in his lifetime, making it rather rare and certainly special.
— CELIA BERTOIA

Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1970
Beryllium copper and brass 26 1/4 × 30 × 6 in 66.7 × 76.2 × 15.2 cm
stimated value: $60,000–$80,000



Untitled (Monumental Sonambient), circa 1972
Beryllium copper and brass
Estimated value: $100,000–$150,000


Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1972
Inconel and monel
Estimated value: $40,000–$60,000


Untitled (Gong), circa 1972
Patinated bronze 35 1/2 in diameter 90.2 cm diameter Estimated value: $30,000–$50,000


Untitled (Gong Pendant), circa 1970
Silver,  Estimated value: $25,000–$35,000