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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 coloured 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, discover modern sculptures and contemporary sculptures from the best art galleries. Explore Japanese artist Tsuyu’s elegant and poetic steel sculptures, Nicolas Dubreuille’s colourful and minimalist works and Paradox Creations’s sculptures inspired by Alexander Calder’s mobiles.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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Philippe Buil, Vanité 93-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Vanité 93-21, 2021
11 x 10 x 8 cm
Sculpture

Sold

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Noir, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

Petit Bonhomme Noir, 2021
45 x 34 x 8 cm
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Landry Clément, Flabellum (LC48), Sculpture

Landry Clément

Flabellum (LC48), 2021
34 x 22 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$746

Nicolas Delage, Aphrodite, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Aphrodite, 2021
250 x 50 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$11,438

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Sunset, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Sunset, 2020
72 x 132 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$15,049

Noël Granger, Boîte à messages  "je t'aime", Sculpture

Noël Granger

Boîte à messages "je t'aime", 2021
16 x 9 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$349

Anastasiya Protsenko, Wind, Sculpture

Anastasiya Protsenko

Wind, 2019
34 x 35 x 1 cm
Sculpture

$1,084

David Sprakes, Broken Corner, Fence Series, Sculpture

David Sprakes

Broken Corner, Fence Series, 2021
39 x 22 x 34 cm
Sculpture

$1,186

Ernesto Romano, Blue Queen, Sculpture

Ernesto Romano

Blue Queen, 2021
30 x 30 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$2,721

Mpcem, Le cœur et la sensation, Sculpture

Mpcem

Le cœur et la sensation, 2021
62 x 32 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$4,093

Julien Cuny, Architectura 1, Sculpture

Julien Cuny

Architectura 1, 2021
40 x 40 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$1,686

Aldric Bendahmane, Prométhée, Sculpture

Aldric Bendahmane

Prométhée, 2021
74 x 70 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$3,371

Sara Rahanjam, From the serie : My Silence, Sculpture

Sara Rahanjam

From the serie : My Silence, 2011
35 x 30 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$3,010

Madeleine Dietz, Licht-Erde-Tresor August II, Sculpture

Madeleine Dietz

Licht-Erde-Tresor August II, 2013
81.3 x 91.4 x 10.2 cm
Sculpture

$9,000

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
67 x 27 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$4,214

Maxime Plancque, N°280, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N°280, 2019
179 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$3,130

Caroline Brisset, Gaïa (CB38), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

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

$602

Arno Sebban, Full Blue, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Full Blue, 2021
83 x 30 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$3,251

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

Jerrican'art Spyder, 2019
47 x 35 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,010

Our recommendations David Moreno, Comunidad El dorado 04, Sculpture

David Moreno

Comunidad El dorado 04, 2019
94 x 28 x 28 cm
Sculpture

$3,130

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$819

Michadu, Suivez moi, Sculpture

Michadu

Suivez moi, 2019
55 x 32 x 27 cm
Sculpture

$710

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

From petty things, 2014
95 x 51 x 38 cm
Sculpture

$5,418

Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
30 x 80 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$2,408

Céline Mahiques, Jerricane Louis Vuitton, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

Jerricane Louis Vuitton, 2020
39 x 28 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$843

Claude Gilli, L’amour fou, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

L’amour fou, 2010
16 x 11 x 4 cm
Sculpture

$421

Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
88 x 46 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

Christophe Jehan, Un petit coin de ciel bleu, Sculpture

Christophe Jehan

Un petit coin de ciel bleu, 2016
34 x 19 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$1,565

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
44 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Sculpture

$2,408

Aldo Chaparro, Md Gold, January 17, 2021 17:36, Sculpture

Aldo Chaparro

Md Gold, January 17, 2021 17:36, 2021
170 x 150 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$21,671

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
53 x 53 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
26 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$301

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
29 x 12 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,330 $1,565

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
70 x 40 x 66 cm
Sculpture

$1,565

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,130

Hervé Di Rosa, Le Rocker, Sculpture

Hervé Di Rosa

Le Rocker, 2018
45 x 25 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$3,491

Philippe Leleu, Alopitèque double socle métal gold & black, Sculpture

Philippe Leleu

Alopitèque double socle métal gold & black, 2019
46.5 x 47 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,758

Haude Bernabé, A bird without a song, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

A bird without a song, 2017
102 x 65 x 72 cm
Sculpture

$11,799

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
49 x 40 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,204

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

Alma Dura II, 2017
120 x 40 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$9,331

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
47 x 57 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$1,686

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
70 x 70 x 70 cm
Sculpture

$5,960

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
110 x 30 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,732

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z, Canned Barbie, Sculpture

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Canned Barbie, 2019
20 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
Sculpture

$421

Pinto, Gaia, Sculpture

Pinto

Gaia, 2020
46 x 13 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$1,204

Leo Factory, Mister Shell - RX41M, Sculpture

Leo Factory

Mister Shell - RX41M, 2020
66 x 25 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$939

Nicolas Desbons, One Finger, Sculpture

Nicolas Desbons

One Finger, 2020
71 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

Laurelle Bessé, Jardin suspendu, Sculpture

Laurelle Bessé

Jardin suspendu, 2018
200 x 45 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,769

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
32 x 20 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,987

Patrick Cornée, Mickey is in love, Sculpture

Patrick Cornée

Mickey is in love, 2019
62 x 50 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$2,288

Michel Audiard, Passage Frida Kahlo, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Passage Frida Kahlo, 2019
60 x 40 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$1,686

Frédéric Lavaud, Dans le vent, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

Dans le vent, 2020
95 x 47 x 27 cm
Sculpture

$1,324

Bernard Rives, Pig Pride, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Pig Pride, 2018
42 x 40 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$2,227

Jane Grieco, Port Navalo, Sculpture

Jane Grieco

Port Navalo, 2020
21 x 48 x 1 cm
Sculpture

$301

Paul Stein, Free Reign, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Free Reign, 2019
48 x 26 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$1,800

Our recommendations Tom Wesselmann, Monica with a Purple Hat, Sculpture

Tom Wesselmann

Monica with a Purple Hat, 1985
10.2 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
Sculpture

$75,000

Our recommendations Karen Marre, Quel cirk 2, Sculpture

Karen Marre

Quel cirk 2, 2015
55 x 28 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$2,167

Lonzi, Broderie, Sculpture

Lonzi

Broderie, 2017
57 x 50 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,385

Gil.S, Le coq à l’œil, Sculpture

Gil.S

Le coq à l’œil, 2021
58.5 x 25 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$843

Abou Sidibé, Le griot du village, Sculpture

Abou Sidibé

Le griot du village, 2011
84 x 23 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$768 $903

Rodrigo Romero Perez, Pan Troglodytes 2, Sculpture

Rodrigo Romero Perez

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

$1,324

Guillaume Roche, Storm 1, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Storm 1, 2019
50 x 23 x 29 cm
Sculpture

$3,491

Jean-No, Sphère n°10, Sculpture

Jean-No

Sphère n°10, 2020
40 x 40 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$2,709

Cinz, Playerz 3, Sculpture

Cinz

Playerz 3, 2019
105 x 33 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$1,144

60 Artworks on 1709

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