Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations

Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations

07/22/2016
11/06/2016

The exhibition Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations celebrates the relocation of the artist’s 1967 sculpture Free Interpretation of Plant Forms to Woodmere’s grounds. For over a decade, the lyrically unfolding work, commissioned by the City of Philadelphia and originally installed at the Civic Center in West Philadelphia, has been in storage. Now, having undergone conservation treatment and in coordination with Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Free Interpretation of Plant Forms becomes a most welcome addition to Woodmere’s grounds and regains its rightful place among the city’s public art.

Best known for his furniture designs and sound sculptures of the 1960s and 1970s, Bertoia nonetheless worked in various mediums throughout his career, including jewelry design and printmaking. In conjunction with the outdoor installation, this exhibition features a number of monoprints made by the artist in the studio behind his home in Bally, Pennsylvania. Bertoia’s prints functioned as studies for his sculptures as well as independent explorations of the organic forms and shapes he invented. The selection on view in this exhibition relates to six large-scale public commissions Bertoia completed between 1967 and 1975. They illuminate the artist’s intentions for these works, his exploration of scale, and his ideas about the interplay of sculptural elements, as well as his commitment to a language of abstraction inspired by the natural world.

Harry Bertoia's Free Interpretation of Plant Forms is owned by the City of Philadelphia and is on loan to the Woodmere Art Museum courtesy of the city.
 

Woodmere extends sincere thanks and appreciation to Saly J. Bellet for their generous support of the exhibition and catalogue. 

 

Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations

Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations

The exhibition Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations celebrates the relocation of the artist’s 1967 sculpture Free Interpretation of Plant Forms to Woodmere’s grounds.
August 20-November 6, 2016

In the News

Old sculpture, new wonders: 'Plant Forms' comes to Woodmere

08/05/2016
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Woodmere Art Museum Welcomes a Hidden Bertoia Sculpture to its Grounds

07/27/2016
Knoll

Sculpture Returns to Chestnut Hill

07/23/2016
NBC10

Long-dormant Bertoia sculpture transplanted to Chestnut Hill

07/21/2016
NewsWorks

Bertoia fountain sculpture to be installed at Woodmere

07/20/2016
Chestnut Hill Local

Bertoia sculpture moved to new home at Woodmere

07/20/2016
The Philadelphia Inquirer

After 16-Year Hiatus, Mid-century Public Art To Return To Public View

07/19/2016
Hidden City Philadelphia

Hidden Philadelphia sculpture to resurface in Chestnut Hill

07/19/2016
PhillyVoice

From Shed to Museum: Bertoia Sculpture Returns to Public Square

07/18/2016
The New York Times

Harry Bertoia: Free Interpretations

07/11/2016