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Steel Sculpture

Steel sculpture appeared in art during the twentieth century. In previous centuries precious metals were the most frequently used in sculpture but the industrial revolution and urbanisation led to a wider use of more commonplace metals, including steel. Before that, bronze, a very resistant material, had been the medium of choice for sculptors creating artworks that would be installed outdoors.

Unlike other metals, steel is easily malleable at a high temperature. Stainless steel has the advantage of being very resistant to rust and harsh weather conditions, making it an ideal choice for outdoor sculptures. Indeed, over the course of the twentieth century it was often used for this purpose. Steel sculptures were used, and continue to be used, to decorate and enhance public spaces in cities as well as gardens.

One of the artists most well-known for his use of steel is Richard Serra. The material occupied a core part of his minimalist practice. In his early work, he used sheets of steel as well as steel rolls which were carefully balanced on the ground. To prevent the material from degrading and changing over time in an uncontrolled way, he coated the pieces with a solution which made them appear rusted. Later on in his career, Serra focussed on site-specific, monumental sculptures. His works were influenced by the environment they were destined for and thus perfectly suited to it. The curves of the sculptures encourage viewers to walk around them while the their impressive size dwarfs the viewers and leads them to reflect on the perception they have of their bodies in relation to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Another artist famous for his gigantic steel sculptures is Bernar Venet. You can find his huge steel arches in cities all over the world and you'll also find some of his artworks on Artsper.

Amongst the greatest sculptors working in steel, there is of course Alexander Calder, who succeeded in creating sculptures of surprising delicacy despite the hardness of the material. His colourful mobiles have become iconic artworks. How can such a dense material appear so light and frail? His sculptures are part of the kinetic art movement and the careful equilibrium that Calder achieved so deftly continues to fascinate viewers.

In a very different style, César also used steel, among other materials, to create works that are far less elegant. His “Compression" sculptures used lead, iron and steel to criticise our consumerist society.

Steel continues to be used by today's contemporary sculptors, mainly for monumental sculptures. Indeed, several contemporary artists have demonstrated a mastery of steel. Chief among them, is Jeff Koons and his famous "Balloon Dog" made of stainless steel with a colored mirror finish surface. With steel, Jeff Koons turned the ephemeral balloon dog into an almost eternal work. Another well-known example is Chicago's "Cloud Gate" sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

On Artsper, you will find modern and contemporary sculptures from the most important art galleries, including the artist Philippe Buil who uses steel to create elegant and poetic sculptures, Nicolas Dubreuille and his colorful and minimalist sculptures, or Paradox Creations which is inspired by Alexander Calder's mobiles.

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Arno Sebban

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Hero, 2017 83 x 15 x 21 cm Sculpture

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Lonzi, Ailleurs, Sculpture

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Irena Tone, Paper Pin..., Sculpture

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Paper Pin..., 2020 36 x 11 x 10 cm Sculpture

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Pica, Une dernière goutte, Sculpture

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Fabrice Lettron, Carquatus, Sculpture

Fabrice Lettron

Carquatus, 2018 80 x 80 x 14 cm Sculpture

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Gil.S, Auto portrait, Sculpture

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Daniil Danailov, Golden strings 2, Sculpture

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Arsen, Bidonnage, Sculpture

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Bidonnage, 2022 38 x 15 x 12 cm Sculpture

Sold

Rémy Aillaud, Ferrari rocket, Sculpture

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Gary William Webb, Terra firma, Sculpture

Gary William Webb

Terra firma, 2015 63.5 x 63.5 x 3.5 cm Sculpture

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Patrick Néel, Nébuleuse, Sculpture

Patrick Néel

Nébuleuse, 2022 53 x 35 x 29 cm Sculpture

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Joe Sorge, Goody Blue Shoes, Sculpture

Joe Sorge

Goody Blue Shoes, 2021 81.3 x 45.7 x 30.5 cm Sculpture

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Norman Gekko, Recycling Rolex, Sculpture

Norman Gekko

Recycling Rolex, 2020 50 x 25 x 15 cm Sculpture

$1,244

Matt Devine, Brisas Study #13, Sculpture

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Brisas Study #13, 2017 61 x 28 x 25.5 cm Sculpture

$7,300

Yannick Bouillault, Le pot de peinture vert 2, Sculpture

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Le pot de peinture vert 2, 2021 18 x 13 x 18 cm Sculpture

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Philippe Olive, Figure Métal - Pierre, Sculpture

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Figure Métal - Pierre, 2022 135 x 20.5 x 25 cm Sculpture

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Joel Douek, Deep forest, Sculpture

Joel Douek

Deep forest, 2021 60.96 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm Sculpture

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Olivier Lannaud, Médusa III, Sculpture

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Tim Roosen, Mitch, Sculpture

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Mitch, 2022 85 x 26 x 23 cm Sculpture

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John Clement, Lucia, Sculpture

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Lucia, 2016 78 x 45 x 45 cm Sculpture

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Pascal Buclon, Mick rouge, Sculpture

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Philippe Buil, Cœur sur cœur 75-22, Sculpture

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Suketchi, Max Verstappen F1 Barrel, Sculpture

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Max Verstappen F1 Barrel, 2022 59 x 36 x 36 cm Sculpture

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Agnès Lacombe, Mister Bob N°2 + Acétone, Sculpture

Agnès Lacombe

Mister Bob N°2 + Acétone, 2020 175 x 80 x 80 cm Sculpture

$3,214

Léa Poncharal, Flash Amor, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Frédérick Mazoir, Magmatisme 07, Sculpture

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Magmatisme 07, 2020 23 x 7 x 4 cm Sculpture

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Caroline Brisset, Baïonnette N (CB45), Sculpture

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Our recommendations Maxime Plancque, #130, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

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Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018 35 x 22 x 12 cm Sculpture

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Tauras Kensminas, A thing no. 3, Sculpture

Tauras Kensminas

A thing no. 3, 2014 70 x 40 x 60 cm Sculpture

$1,037

Thierry Bamas, Albina, Sculpture

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Albina, 2020 80 x 30 x 32 cm Sculpture

$1,763

Michel Audiard, Passage Mick Jagger, Sculpture

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Passage Mick Jagger, 2019 65 x 45 x 1 cm Sculpture

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Julien Cuny, Architectura 1, Sculpture

Julien Cuny

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Our recommendations Vasya Dmytryk, Seducer, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Jean-Jacques Joujon, Cubes Equilibre Translucide, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Richard Texier, Angel Bear - 24K Gold Plated, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Lucio Del Pezzo, Piccolo Arcobaleno, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Jean-No, Sphère N°13, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Etienne, Losanges, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Hellen Halftermeyer, Tired, Sculpture

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Jean-Paul Jacquet, Trio de marcheurs, Sculpture

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Trio de marcheurs, 2020 36 x 20 x 45 cm Sculpture

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Christophe Jehan, Un petit coin de ciel bleu, Sculpture

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Our recommendations Nicolas Dubreuille, Le rêveur, Sculpture

Nicolas Dubreuille

Le rêveur, 2014 180 x 90 x 120 cm Sculpture

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Bernard Rives, Pig Pride, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Pig Pride, 2018 42 x 40 x 10 cm Sculpture

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Mpcem, Idée reçu, Sculpture

Mpcem

Idée reçu, 2020 34 x 20 x 12 cm Sculpture

$1,866

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Jihyung Nam

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Anastasiya Protsenko, Seahorse, Sculpture

Anastasiya Protsenko

Seahorse, 2017 67 x 41 x 7 cm Sculpture

$1,555

Vladas Kanciauskas, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sculpture

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Adrienne Jalbert, Spirale Spin 'AJ57), Sculpture

Adrienne Jalbert

Spirale Spin 'AJ57), 2018 16 x 16 x 16 cm Sculpture

$1,141

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021 49 x 43 x 22 cm Sculpture

$1,555

Sébastien Ruiz, L'explorateur, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

L'explorateur, 2019 29 x 12 x 18 cm Sculpture

$1,348

Pierre Demonchaux, Convoyeur III (PDE24), Sculpture

Pierre Demonchaux

Convoyeur III (PDE24), 2015 90 x 50 x 3 cm Sculpture

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Le CyKlop, Angry - No Angry, Sculpture

Le CyKlop

Angry - No Angry, 2022 35 x 10 x 10 cm Sculpture

$1,555

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020 32 x 20 x 15 cm Sculpture

$1,711

Sylvie Derely, Farandole, Sculpture

Sylvie Derely

Farandole, 2017 34 x 63 x 10 cm Sculpture

$5,703

M'Phi, La Golfeuse, Sculpture

M'Phi

La Golfeuse, 2015 43 x 10 x 10 cm Sculpture

$3,733

Bevan Ramsay, Talk to Me, Sculpture

Bevan Ramsay

Talk to Me, 2019 138 x 51 x 47 cm Sculpture

$5,807

Rafal Piesliak, Element, Sculpture

Rafal Piesliak

Element, 2021 140 x 4 x 4 cm Sculpture

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Our recommendations Rodrigo Romero Perez, Pan Troglodytes 2, Sculpture

Rodrigo Romero Perez

Pan Troglodytes 2, 2020 140 x 20 x 20 cm Sculpture

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Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, Naked Portrait 4, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

Naked Portrait 4, 2014 94 x 240 x 150 cm Sculpture

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Hervé Nys, Echappées T4, Sculpture

Hervé Nys

Echappées T4, 2022 50 x 38 x 11 cm Sculpture

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