'Atmosphere for Enjoyment' Exhibition: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound
IDEA: An exhibition focused on Harry Bertoia.
WHAT: From May 3 to September 25, 2016, the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC presents two exhibitions focused on Harry Bertoia (1915–1978). Referred to collectively as 'Sonambient, these sculptures are interactive, kinetic, and audible forms consisting of bundles of metal rods that collide and set off radiant tones when agitated by wind or human touch. In his Pennsylvania barn, he recorded approximately 400 tapes, eventually producing eleven LPs with titles such as 'Phosphorescence' and 'Ocean Mysteries'.
WHY: Harry Bertoia began exploring the potential relationship between sculpture and sound, and eventually created a significant oeuvre that would crown his life’s work. Upon discovering the range of tones possible when pieces of wire or metal rods strike one another, Bertoia spent two decades crafting hundreds of 'sounding sculptures' in pursuit of a simple instrument.
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