Harry Bertoia's Monumental Sonambient valued at $400,000

Harry Bertoia's Untitled (Monumental Sonambient) will lead an auction of his work from the collection of Kaare Bernsten at Sotheby's.

The piece was commissioned for the Colorado National Bank in Denver by the building's architect Minoru Yamasaki.

Harry Bertoia sculpture
The works come from the collection of Norwegian gallerist Kaare Bernsten

It's expected to sell for around $300,000-400,000 in the November 16 sale in New York.

Bertoia (1915-1978) was a sculptor and designer best known for his iconic wire frame chairs.

These became so popular that he was able to leave furniture design behind and focus entirely on producing sculpture.   

The present lot is a particularly large example of his work, standing at over four metres tall.

It's constructed from copper and brass and is designed to produce a percussive drone when moved by the wind.

Bernsten was a Norwegian gallerist and art dealer. He struck up a friendship with Bertoia in the early 1970s and became one of the most fervent collectors of his work.

In all 28 examples of his work feature in the sale, making it the largest single owner collections of Bertoia ever offered.

Bernsten's son, Thomas, writes: "After thorough consideration, including with Kaare during his last years, we have agreed that it is time to pass some of the treasures in his possession to new collectors…

"Bertoia still speaks to the art world, and the impact of his work is unmatched. I do hope these incredible objects, which my father acquired directly from Harry, will find new, deserving homes."

The auction record for a piece by Bertoia is $578,500, set by Screen Tree in 2012.

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