About This Artwork

Harry Bertoia
American, born Italy, 1915–1978

Construction after the Enjoyment of a Mulberry Tree, 1953

Steel, bronze, and silver
45 x 53 1/2 x 9 in. (114.3 x 135.9 x 22.9 cm)
base: 39 x 50 1/2 x 15 in. (99.1 x 128.3 x 38.1 cm)

Watson F. Blair Prize Fund, 1954.272

© 2018 Estate of Harry Bertoia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Trained in metalwork at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Italian-born Harry Bertoia began his artistic career creating monoprints and jewelry, before moving on to design furniture for Knoll and large-scale metal sculptural forms for architectural projects during the postwar years. Related to the welded sculpture screens Bertoia created during the 1950s for the First National Bank of Miami and the USA Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair, this work was exhibited and acquired by the Art Institute in 1954. Composed of thin rectangular, square, and ovoid shapes welded to rods, it suggests contemplation over nature. A study in form and space, Bertoia’s sculpture screen, with its rich textural effects of molten metal and patina, among other surface treatments, is at once linear and organic.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute, Sixty-First Annual Exhibition of American Artists, October 21-December 3, 1954, cat. 12.

Interpretive Resources

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