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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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price,501:1000 facet,10503*Werke von Bestseller-Künstlern|icon-bestsellers*werke-von-kunstlern-bestseller facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Œuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Obras de los artistas más vendidos|icon-bestsellers*obras-de-los-artistas-mas-vendidos price,1001:5000 category,6*Gemälde*gemalde category,6*Pintura*pintura category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Peinture*peinture facet,10500*Oeuvres d'artistes émergents|icon-youngtalents*jeunes-talents facet,10500*Werke aufstrebender Künstler|icon-youngtalents*werke-von-jungen-kunstlern facet,10500*Young Talents|icon-youngtalents*youngtalents facet,10500*Obras de artistas emergentes|icon-youngtalents*obras-de-artistas-emergentes price,5001:10000 facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*unsere 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découvrir|icon-new-remarquable-artists*nouveaux-artistes-a-decouvrir facet,11997*​New \u0026 remarkable Artists|icon-new-remarquable-artists*new-remarquable-artists facet,11997*Artistas nuevos y destacados|icon-new-remarquable-artists*artistas-nuevos-y-destacados category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulpturen*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*moyen facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografien*fotografie category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Zeichnungen*zeichnung category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,1641*Akt*akte category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Edición*edicion category,15*Print*print category,15*Drucke*editionen facet,11697*Figuratif*figuratif facet,11697*Figurative*figurative facet,11697*Figurativ*figurativ facet,11697*Figurativo*figurativo facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft 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facet,11634*Popkultur Straßenkünstler*popkultur-strassenkunstler facet,11634*Pop culture Street-artistes*pop-culture-street-artistes facet,11634*Cultura pop Street-artistas*cultura-pop-street-artistas facet,11634*Pop Culture Street Artists*pop-culture-street-artists facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro facet,12220*French artists*french-artists facet,12220*Artistes Français*artistes-francais facet,12220*Artistas franceses*artistas-franceses facet,12220*Französisch Künstler*franzosisch-kunstler category,24*Design*design category,24*Diseño*diseno facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,126*acrylique*acrylique facet,126*acrylic*acrylic facet,126*Acryl-*acryl facet,126*acrílico*acrilico facet,108*huile*huile facet,108*oil*oil facet,108*Öl*ol facet,108*al 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