Knoll is making a conscious effort to update its history and remember those who had a pivotal impact on the company such as Harry Bertoia, who would have been 100 years old this year. In addition to a presentation given by Glenn Adamson, director of the Museum of Arts and Design, on March 18 (Bertoia’s birthday) at the Knoll New York Showroom, Knoll will present the exhibition Celebrate Harry Bertoia in partnership with OMA in its Milan showroom during Salone de Mobile.
Harry Bertoia at work. Photo courtesy of Knoll.
Bertoia was a renowned post-war American industrial designer and sculptor best known for his iconic, modernist metal sculptures and sculptural furniture. The installation in honor of this anniversary will feature Bertoia’s seating collection designed for Knoll alongside sculptures, jewelry and drawings by the eclectic artist.
Bertoia’s Diamond Chairs will be a highlight of the exhibition, which the artist referred to as “a real sculpture made of air and steel.” The range of pieces selected will display Bertoia’s versatility and innovative and experimental industrial production techniques.
Left, Bertoia Asymmetric Chaise. Right, a sculpture featured in the exhibtion.
The exhibition will also feature never-before-seen materials from the collection of Celia Bertoia, the designer’s daughter, such as 30 monotypes, refined, rare prints on paper. These were made as one-offs between the 1940s and the 1970s and provide insight into Bertoia’s various European influences.
OMA, the studio co-founded by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed the exhibition, and used the Monotype series for inspiration. The exhibition is on display at the Knoll showroom in Milan (Piazza Bertarelli, 2) from April 14 through April 19.