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Sculpture Map #7 – Museum Area

Allen Bertoldi

Shelter, 1979
Painted steel
4’ x 6 ’ x 6′
Gift of the Estate of Allen Bertoldi

An interplay of straight and curved forms, enclosure and opening, harbored in an intimate, enclosed site on top of a gentle rise.


Allen Bertoldi, 1941- 1981 – A California-born and trained sculptor, Bertoldi moved to New York with his family in 1976. He died in 1981 at age 40 after falling off a roof while renovating his recently purchased studio in Brooklyn.

Bertoldi’s five works at the NCMA were part of a one-man exhibition on the grounds in 1979, the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in New York.  His use of simple geometric forms (often repeated), industrially fabricated, with no evidence of the artist’s “touch,” are characteristic of the  Minimal Art of that period, but with an almost poetic sensitivity to the landscape. A special effort was made to integrate each sculpture with its site (“site-specific”) so that both landscape and sculpture are transformed by their interaction with each other.  Strong and architectonic, painted an even matte black, yet also intimate and gentle, the works reflect the personality of their creator.


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