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 James Libero Prestini  (1908 - 1993)

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Lived/Active: California/Connecticut      Known for: steel constructions

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Ad Code: 3
James Libero Prestini
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A sculptor, designer, and teacher, James Prestini first gained attention with turned wood objects that he created in the 1930s and 1940s. These works were thin-walled vessels that were fine art but gave the appearance of having practical use.

Prestini was trained as an engineer, from which he learned to get the most usage from his material, and with his vessels, this frugality pertained to a block of wood. He was also committed to the idea that art and technology were related entities in the 20th century and that together science and machines could "create an art that truly resonates with mankind."

HIs later work was steel constructions composed of i-beams, H-beams, tubes, and channels and finely polished. They are geometric sculpture rooted in that which is technological and industrial.

Prestini was born in Waterford, Connecticut, and earned a BS Degree from Yale University and then studied in Stockholm, Sweden with Carl Malmsten, and in Chicago with L Moholy-Nagy. From 1953 to 1956, he studied in Italy.

Teaching positions include Instructor of Design at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois from 1933 to 1942, the Institute of Design in Chicago from 1939 to 1946, and Professor of Design at the University of California Berkeley from 1956 until is retirement.

In 1975, he was elected to the American Wood Turners Hall of Fame.

Michael Weisberg, "James Prestini: A Master of Materials"
"Who's Who in American Art", 1993

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