This film series looks at the lives and work of an influential group of postwar architects and designers whose achievements continue to inspire the way we think and move through space today. From Buckminster Fuller’s utopic geodesic visions and Charles and Ray Eames’ prefab case study homes to Lina Bo Bardi’s urban revitalization projects, this generation of midcentury artists were at the forefront of a revolutionary movement experimenting with materials and form through a practice of austerity in service of the collective good. Among them was Harry Bertoia, an Italian-born American artist, sound-art sculptor and modern furniture designer best-known for his latticed steel diamond chair, who dedicated the second half of his life to creating Sonambient sculptures. These were works made of metal rods that could be played by anyone. Such an egalitarian worldview puts Bertoia, and the other artists represented in this series, in a league of their own.
Midcentury Masters is curated by Katerina Llanes, Manager of Public Programs, and Carson Parish, Audio-Visual coordinator, in conjunction with the exhibition Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound.