CHICAGO – Wright will present “Harry Bertoia: Masterworks from the Standard Oil Commission” on Thursday, June 6. These works have never before been presented at auction. Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com
In 1974, Harry Bertoia was commissioned by the Standard Oil Co. to create sculptures for the plaza of their building, a modern skyscraper designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone.
Bertoia designed 11 Sonambients for the 4,000-square-foot reflecting pool at the building’s base, each sculpture ranging from 4 to 16 feet in height. The verticality of the Somabients’ brass and copper rods echoed the height and rhythm of the Standard Oil Building itself, and their sound resonated throughout the plaza. The kinetic sculptures he designed for the Standard Oil Co. were installed on June 24, 1975 and the installation is one of the most important public commissions of Bertoia’s career.
The plaza of the Standard Oil Building became among the most beloved public spaces in the city of Chicago. This commission was among the four major public sculptures in Chicago’s Loop, the other three by Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Marc Chagall.
Estimates on the three large-scale Somabients original to the Standard Oil commission range from $300,000-500,000 to $500,000-700,000 each. Six maquettes from the presentation Bertoia created for the project, as well as eight unique sounding sculptures, which he presented to the executives of the Standard Oil Co. as examples of his work are also included in this auction.
Harry Bertoia: Masterworks from the Standard Oil Commission is the second Wright auction dedicated exclusively to the works of this outstanding sculptor. Comprised of 17 lots, the auction will take place on June 6, beginning at noon Central Daylight Time. Gallery preview runs through June 5. All lots will be illustrated in a stand-alone catalog as well as online at www.wright20.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE