IHLENFELD/BERTOIA: An Artisic Friendship

February 8 - May 11, 2014

Ihlenfeld 1This exhibition explores the sculpture of Klaus Ihlenfeld (American, German born, 1934), who lives and works in Barto, Pennsylvania, and works by artist Harry Bertoia (American, b. in Italy, 1915 – 1978). Ihlenfeld served as studio assistant to Bertoia in Bally, Pennsylvania for two years where both artists shared a similar approach to sculpture based on the organic forms found in nature, among other sources of inspiration. The exhibition includes more than 30 works from all stages of Ihlenfeld's career including examples made from welded bronze and found objects. Additional works on paper and sculpture by Harry Bertoia help tell the story of collaboration and artistic influence.

Ihlenfeld, a native of Berlin, studied art at the German capital's Akademie der Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) with modernist sculptor Hans Uhlmann in 1950. He began exhibiting in the United States in 1957, when he was included in a group show at the Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was the subject of several solo exhibitions including ones at Kutztown University (1960 and 1961), the Allentown Art Museum (1960 and 1961), and at Staempfli Gallery in New York City (1962).

Ihlenfeld 2Significantly, Ihlenfeld was also included in a major exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York titled Modern Sculpture from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection (1962). The artist has been the recipient of several grants from National Endowment for the Arts and served as artist-in-residence at the Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia (1970 – 1971) and Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania (1971 – 1972). His work is included in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Everhart Museum in Scranton, PA, the Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, and in many private collections in the U.S. and Europe.

Concurrently, an exhibition of more than 20 never-before-seen monoprints by Harry Bertoia will be exhibited in The Museum's ground floor Works on Paper Gallery.

Celebrate Harry Bertoia's birthday on Monday, March 10, 2014 with Klaus Ihlenfeld at a reception from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Enjoy light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. Cost: $10 per Member; $15 per Non-Member. To make reservations, call Lindsay Crist at 610-371-5850 x230.

This exhibition is sponsored by HOTA Logo New

Images: Top - Klaus Ihlenfeld (American, b. in Germany, 1934), Heavenly Body (Venus), c. 1965, brass, collection of the artist; Bottom - Harry Bertoia, 1915 - 1978, Untitled, c. 1940s, monoprint on paper, Loan, Private Collection

To watch an interview with Klaus Ihlenfeld at his home studio, recorded on 11/18/13, click here (YouTube).