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Abstract Sculpture

The origins of abstract sculpture lie in the artistic developments of the 19th and 20th centuries. By ceasing to use antiquity as a source of inspiration, which had previously dominated sculptural creation for centuries, Auguste Rodin led the way for modern sculpture. Although Rodin’s sculptures continued to respect the principles of classical art, his work encouraged many 20th century sculptors to break away from traditional conventions.

Rodin’s sculptures were a source of inspiration for Brancusi and his distinctive use of clean, simple lines. He later went on to pave the way for abstract sculpture.

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by several discoveries including key mathematical advances which fascinated intellectuals. At the same time, many exiled European artists arrived in Paris seeking refuge, and formed various different art movements, each one hoping to lead the way for a better world. The World Wars were fundamental in encouraging artists to detach themselves from the violence of their lived realities.

A new form of expression appeared; abstraction! Artists no longer wanted to represent reality in a figural way but explored expressing the immaterial using shapes, colour…

Cubism was responsible for introducing the use of geometric shapes to modern art. Representing real life objects as shapes from different angles allowed the artist to create completely new perspectives. Thank you Pablo Picasso! Sculpture was no longer obliged to represent reality in a literal sense as we see it before our very eyes. Sculpture became the object in its own right, embodying its very essence.

Perhaps out of necessity, Cubists imposed few limits in regards to the materials they worked with, many of which were not as ‘noble’ as those previously used in sculpture and included steel and cardboard.

Several movements were to follow, including Dadaism, Neo-Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, all of which helped to expand abstract art.

Marcel Duchamp, who had shown interest in the movement, introduced the art world to his ‘ready-mades’, establishing the idea that an artwork can be a manufactured object. In his view, it was up to the artist to decide whether something is worthy of being called a work of art or not.

Italian Futurism focused on the representation of movement and was responsible for the creation of kinetic art, in which movement is the artwork itself. One artist in particular had a profound impact on abstract sculpture and that was Thank you Alexander Calder. His famous mobiles were made of thin strips of smooth metal, tied together with strong wire. His colour palette was inspired by Piet Mondrian and he was even quoted as saying: ‘I want to make Mondrians that move.’ Jean Tinguely and Nicolas Schöffer also explored kinetic art and the use of robotics.

As art continued to deal with objects taken from daily life, artists increasingly used poorer materials or objects that had been recycled.

After the Second World War, sculptors could start to be creative on an even bigger scale. Thanks to increased industrialisation, they could produce larger sculptures which were highly weather-resistant, creating possibilities for outdoor creations. Within the Land Art movement, Christo and Jeanne Claude create sculptures which are directly part of the landscape. In Minimalism, the sculpture and its material are determined by its environment so as to highlight the sense of emptiness and space which surrounds it. An excellent example of minimalist sculpture would be Richard Serra’s gigantic creations which allow visitors to explore and wander around inside them.

Some of the biggest names incontemporary sculpture include Anish Kapoor, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Henry Moore Barbara Hepworth, Louise Bourgeois and Sol LeWitt.

Discover Artsper’s collection of abstract sculpture from contemporary artists such as Man Ray, Victor Vasarely, César and Nando Stevoli...

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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Marie-Madeleine Vitrolles, Sauter par dessus bord - 579, Sculpture

Marie-Madeleine Vitrolles

Sauter par dessus bord - 579, 2017
91 x 25 x 31 cm
Sculpture

$2,060

Grégory Marseille, Broken Skate, Sculpture

Grégory Marseille

Broken Skate, 2021
49 x 20 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$182

Thierry Corpet, Big Totem I, Sculpture

Thierry Corpet

Big Totem I, 2021
165 x 35 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$2,060

Manuèle Bernardi, Golden hours, Sculpture

Manuèle Bernardi

Golden hours, 2021
35 x 40 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$4,241

Victor Prodanchuk, Festive, Sculpture

Victor Prodanchuk

Festive, 2006
26 x 16 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$4,450

François Bajeot, Fire opale, Sculpture

François Bajeot

Fire opale, 2021
47 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$1,282

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa, Acrobat Game II, Sculpture

Joanna Zakrzewska-Cholewa

Acrobat Game II, 2021
51.5 x 23 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$1,006

Magda Von Hanau, Visceral, Sculpture

Magda Von Hanau

Visceral, 2020
20 x 36 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$3,000

Kim Seungwoo, Kinetic sculpture made from coins "Circle XXXV", Sculpture

Kim Seungwoo

Kinetic sculpture made from coins "Circle XXXV", 2021
16 x 30 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$9,000

Melanie Dulson, Serpent embrasse, Sculpture

Melanie Dulson

Serpent embrasse, 2018
77 x 77 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,333

Russell Frampton, Nusakan Plan, Sculpture

Russell Frampton

Nusakan Plan, 2021
85 x 85 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$5,103

Moon Shin, 1969 Smile  Sourire, Sculpture

Moon Shin

1969 Smile Sourire, 1969
30 x 15 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$11,510

Martine Saint-Arroman, Cliché, Sculpture

Martine Saint-Arroman

Cliché, 2010
33 x 33 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$424

Gérald Fleury, Wave, Sculpture

Gérald Fleury

Wave, 2021
95 x 110 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$21,809

Lucette Pillet, Cristallisation, Sculpture

Lucette Pillet

Cristallisation, 1986
36 x 36 x 1 cm
Sculpture

$3,574

Gyongy Laky, Traverser, Sculpture

Gyongy Laky

Traverser, 2016
55.9 x 55.9 x 55.9 cm
Sculpture

$34,000

Our recommendations Jesus Campos, Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, Sculpture

Jesus Campos

Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, 2004
30 x 14 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$836

Christophe Charbonnel, Dryade II, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Dryade II, 2021
51 x 48 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$21,809

Nathanael Koffi, « 3 », Sculpture

Nathanael Koffi

« 3 », 2021
22 x 11.5 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$242

Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture

Corneille

Chants d’oiseaux, 1992
54 x 68 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$10,299

Maxime Plancque, N°350, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N°350, 2021
147 x 21.5 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$1,454

Sylvie Guyomard, Desert Signe VII (SG176), Sculpture

Sylvie Guyomard

Desert Signe VII (SG176), 2020
72 x 52 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$666

Sébastien Créteur, Fission, Sculpture

Sébastien Créteur

Fission, 2018
43.2 x 21.6 x 21 cm
Sculpture

$1,939

Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
18 x 17 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$2,181

Caroline Brisset, Gaïa (CB38), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Gaïa (CB38), 2018
50 x 9 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$606

Rafael Barrios, Levitation IV, Sculpture

Rafael Barrios

Levitation IV, 2019
40 x 19 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$6,058

David Vaamonde, Ensemble (DV11), Sculpture

David Vaamonde

Ensemble (DV11), 2019
42 x 14 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$1,333

Pedro Moreno Linares, Espaces ouverts, Sculpture

Pedro Moreno Linares

Espaces ouverts, 2010
43 x 16 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$751

Shaka, Corps Noir, Sculpture

Shaka

Corps Noir, 2019
120 x 120 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$15,751

Christian Nesler, Pixels de Mer I, Sculpture

Christian Nesler

Pixels de Mer I, 2018
38 x 38 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$909

Alberonero, Trave, Sculpture

Alberonero

Trave, 2019
24 x 82 x 24 cm
Sculpture

$2,423

Roland Masson, Fila, Sculpture

Roland Masson

Fila, 2018
45 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,030

Karel Appel, From the Circus series. Flower Clown, Sculpture

Karel Appel

From the Circus series. Flower Clown, 1978
100 x 120 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$45,435

Landry Clément, Eye of JC II, Sculpture

Landry Clément

Eye of JC II, 2017
55 x 51 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,181

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
200 x 80 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$8,481

Our recommendations Jan Kaláb, Honour to Brancusi, Sculpture

Jan Kaláb

Honour to Brancusi, 2019
300 x 120 x 120 cm
Sculpture

$14,418

Our recommendations Julio Le Parc, Mobile Losange Rouge, Sculpture

Julio Le Parc

Mobile Losange Rouge, 2017
80 x 80 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$16,962

Eric Liot, Micro Apollon, Sculpture

Eric Liot

Micro Apollon, 2020
45 x 21 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$7,270

Julie Espiau, Enroulée, Sculpture

Julie Espiau

Enroulée, 2019
30.5 x 14 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$1,187

Christine Bazantay, Impulsion, Sculpture

Christine Bazantay

Impulsion, 2018
66 x 58 x 21 cm
Sculpture

$2,387

Helder Batista, Stoneage 2.1, Sculpture

Helder Batista

Stoneage 2.1, 2021
63 x 19.5 x 19.5 cm
Sculpture

$2,835 $3,150

Nell et Domingo Politi, Ondas 3, Sculpture

Nell et Domingo Politi

Ondas 3, 2017
105 x 37 x 0.5 cm
Sculpture

$1,454

Mireille Hottinger, Toliman, Sculpture

Mireille Hottinger

Toliman, 2021
82 x 15 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,672

Patrick Chappert-Gaujal, Sans titre, Sculpture

Patrick Chappert-Gaujal

Sans titre, 2019
53 x 23 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$606

Bengt Lindström, L’esprit de la terre, Sculpture

Bengt Lindström

L’esprit de la terre, 2000
66 x 41 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$7,997

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
44 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Sculpture

$2,423

Mihaela Mihaylova, Spill 2, Sculpture

Mihaela Mihaylova

Spill 2, 2021
25 x 22 x 1.5 cm
Sculpture

$206

Fabrice Anneville-Constance, Harmonica, Sculpture

Fabrice Anneville-Constance

Harmonica, 2021
95 x 94 x 4 cm
Sculpture

$2,666

Our recommendations Milko Dobrev, Family, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Family, 2020
48 x 17 x 8.5 cm
Sculpture

$1,636

Véronique Clanet, Les Causeuses  --- Bronze - numéroté 1/8., Sculpture

Véronique Clanet

Les Causeuses --- Bronze - numéroté 1/8., 2009
27 x 40 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$7,633

Diego Canogar, Enroscada helicoide II, Sculpture

Diego Canogar

Enroscada helicoide II, 2011
38 x 19 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$1,763

Thierry Martenon, N°080720 (TM72), Sculpture

Thierry Martenon

N°080720 (TM72), 2020
114 x 51 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$9,935

Simon Raffy, Optical 3, Sculpture

Simon Raffy

Optical 3, 2014
7.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 cm
Sculpture

$424

Anna Sidi Yacoub, Waves in Gray, Sculpture

Anna Sidi Yacoub

Waves in Gray, 2021
88 x 90 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$473

Wabé, Space time, Sculpture

Wabé

Space time, 2020
34 x 34 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,302

Rainier Lericolais, Suspension, Sculpture

Rainier Lericolais

Suspension, 2014
50.8 x 20.4 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,423

Jean-Marc Mariani, Calista, Sculpture

Jean-Marc Mariani

Calista, 2020
20 x 30 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$2,302

Daniel Tostivint, Sans titre, Sculpture

Daniel Tostivint

Sans titre, 2019
40 x 20 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$473

Philippe Leleu, Alopitèque, Sculpture

Philippe Leleu

Alopitèque, 2019
38 x 40.5 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,745

Sophie Théodose, Sculpture lumineuse Entrelacs, Sculpture

Sophie Théodose

Sculpture lumineuse Entrelacs, 2018
25 x 25 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$2,060

Michele Cossyro, White Cosmic Folds, Sculpture

Michele Cossyro

White Cosmic Folds, 2017
43 x 46 x 0.5 cm
Sculpture

$3,392

L'Atlas, Abstraction géométrique, Sculpture

L'Atlas

Abstraction géométrique, 2014
59 x 21 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$3,877

Fanjol, Protection, Sculpture

Fanjol

Protection, 2018
27 x 22 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$7,027

Mia Llauder, Bol i fils n°3, Sculpture

Mia Llauder

Bol i fils n°3, 2020
27.2 x 31 x 6.8 cm
Sculpture

$666

60 Artworks on 3954

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