James Prestini – Creating In Tradition Of The Bauhaus Aesthetic

James Prestini (1908 – 1993) was an American sculptor. Born in Waterford, Connecticut to Italian immigrants, Prestini was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus aesthetic, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Mies van der Rohe.

Prestini became known for making wafer-thin bowls, cups, and trays in mahogany, birch, cherry, and beech in the 1930s. In his later years, he created minimalist sculptures in stainless steel, many formed from I- and H-beams. Regardless of the type of work he created, Prestini’s art was always distinguished by its pure form and masterful use of technique.

James Prestini was a skilled craftsman, sculptor, and educator. His steel and aluminum sculptures were featured in a retrospective exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1969. His work can also be seen at the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Selected sculptures from James Prestini

Construction #203, 1970, Chrome-plated steel, 68.6 × 61 × 40.6 cm, Image via ©Artsy under Fair Use
Construction #77, c. 1950, Steel
39.4 × 18.4 × 7.6 cm, Image via ©Artsy under Fair Use
Construction #81, c. 1950,
Steel, 38.1 × 37.5 × 5.1 cm, Image via ©Artsy under Fair Use

Further Reading


Aesence is a creative studio and digital design magazine with a high curatorial approach. Founded by Sarah Dorweiler, a creative mind and entrepreneur from Berlin, her goal is to capture the feeling of harmony, balance and inner peace in her curatorial work and photography.