Harry Bertoia left Italy at the age of 15, learnt the art of handcrafted jewellery and then joined the famous Cranbrook Academy of Art, which was a real incubator for American designers.
In 1952, the Knolls, impressed by his creativity, gave him carte blanche to create a chair, which is still a centrepiece of their catalogue – The Diamond Chair. It is the first of a series that includes a dining chair, the Side; a bar stool, the Barstool; a lounge chair with ottoman, the Bird Lounge and a chaise longue, the Bertoia Asymmetric, which remained a prototype until Knoll finally produced it in 2005.
Their latticework structure of steel wires welded together point by point creates an almost sculptural shape, reflecting Bertoia’s remarks – “If you look at these seats, they are made mainly of air, like a sculpture. They are traversed by space.”
From 1960, Bertoia, an eclectic artist who was now freed from material concerns thanks to the continuing popularity of his designs, was able to devote himself to sculpting metal; his sculptures were full of references to Nature, noise and the movement of vegetation. He even recorded a dozen albums, all named Sonambient.
link : Bertoia chair