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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, Solo de violon 107-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Solo de violon 107-21, 2021
35 x 26 x 11 cm
Sculpture

€1,050

Claude Gilli, Paysage, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

Paysage, 1990
50 x 43 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€5,600

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

€360

Jean-No, Grand gorille, Sculpture

Jean-No

Grand gorille, 2021
58 x 40 x 66 cm
Sculpture

€18,000

Melanie Dulson, Serpent embrasse, Sculpture

Melanie Dulson

Serpent embrasse, 2018
77 x 77 x 18 cm
Sculpture

€1,100

Julien Cuny, Architectura 1, Sculpture

Julien Cuny

Architectura 1, 2021
40 x 40 x 30 cm
Sculpture

€1,400

Gérald Fleury, Wave, Sculpture

Gérald Fleury

Wave, 2021
95 x 110 x 20 cm
Sculpture

€18,000

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
67 x 27 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€3,500

Stratos, Voyage, Sculpture

Stratos

Voyage, 2020
50 x 50 x 3 cm
Sculpture

€1,900

Maxime Plancque, N°350, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

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

€1,200

Arno Sebban, Fake off, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Fake off, 2021
38 x 29 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€700

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018
35 x 22 x 12 cm
Sculpture

€2,000

Caroline Brisset, Gaïa (CB38), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

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

€500

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

€680

Michadu, Série 6-9, Sculpture

Michadu

Série 6-9, 2019
40 x 12 x 13 cm
Sculpture

€350

Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
30 x 80 x 55 cm
Sculpture

€2,000

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

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

€2,500

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
200 x 80 x 48 cm
Sculpture

€7,000

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

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

€4,500

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Rouge, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

Petit Bonhomme Rouge, 2020
70 x 54 x 11 cm
Sculpture

2,500 - € 5,000

Céline Mahiques, Extincteur Coco Chanel, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

Extincteur Coco Chanel, 2020
60 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€480

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

€1,300

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
44 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Sculpture

€2,000

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
26 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

€250

Our recommendations Aldo Chaparro, Mx Black, July 27, 2020 12:45, Sculpture

Aldo Chaparro

Mx Black, July 27, 2020 12:45, 2020
94 x 148 x 25 cm
Sculpture

€18,000

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
29 x 12 x 18 cm
Sculpture

€1,300

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

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

€1,300

Philippe Leleu, Alopitèque, Sculpture

Philippe Leleu

Alopitèque, 2019
38 x 40.5 x 15 cm
Sculpture

€1,440

Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
60 x 60 x 25 cm
Sculpture

€4,000

Nicolas Delage, Sans titre, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Sans titre, 2021
81 x 40 x 46 cm
Sculpture

€1,900

Haude Bernabé, A bird without a song, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

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

€9,800

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
53 x 53 x 7 cm
Sculpture

€3,000

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
49 x 40 x 8 cm
Sculpture

€1,000

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

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

€7,750

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
47 x 57 x 30 cm
Sculpture

€1,400

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Blason, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Blason, 2021
90 x 65 x 14 cm
Sculpture

€12,500

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

€2,600

Pinto, Gaia, Sculpture

Pinto

Gaia, 2020
46 x 13 x 7 cm
Sculpture

€1,000

Vladas Kanciauskas, Apple | Sculpture Contemporaine, Sculpture

Vladas Kanciauskas

Apple | Sculpture Contemporaine, 2003
40 x 34 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€5,700

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
70 x 70 x 70 cm
Sculpture

€4,950

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
110 x 30 x 20 cm
Sculpture

€3,100

Hervé Di Rosa, Le Rocker, Sculpture

Hervé Di Rosa

Le Rocker, 2018
45 x 25 x 15 cm
Sculpture

€2,900

Patrick Cornée, Mickey is in love, Sculpture

Patrick Cornée

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

€1,900

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
32 x 20 x 15 cm
Sculpture

€1,650

Nicolas Desbons, Solo, Sculpture

Nicolas Desbons

Solo, 2020
98 x 12 x 12 cm
Sculpture

€3,200

Michel Audiard, Panda, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Panda, 2017
38 x 52 x 8 cm
Sculpture

€1,000

Bernard Rives, Pig Pride, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Pig Pride, 2018
42 x 40 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€1,850

Frédéric Lavaud, Dans le vent, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

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

€1,100

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

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Canned Barbie, 2019
20 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
Sculpture

€350

Jane Grieco, Port Navalo, Sculpture

Jane Grieco

Port Navalo, 2020
21 x 48 x 1 cm
Sculpture

€250

Paul Stein, Equinox, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Equinox, 2019
47 x 44 x 44 cm
Sculpture

€1,547

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

€64,454

Our recommendations Karen Marre, Quel cirk 2, Sculpture

Karen Marre

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

€1,800

Lonzi, Broderie, Sculpture

Lonzi

Broderie, 2017
57 x 50 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€1,150

Leo Factory, Mister Shell - RX41M, Sculpture

Leo Factory

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

€780

Gil.S, Le coq à l’œil, Sculpture

Gil.S

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

€700

David Sprakes, Broken Corner, Fence Series, Sculpture

David Sprakes

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

€1,015

Guillaume Roche, Storm 17, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Storm 17, 2020
36 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

€1,200

Rodrigo Romero Perez, Pan Troglodytes 2, Sculpture

Rodrigo Romero Perez

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

€1,100

Cinz, Playerz 3, Sculpture

Cinz

Playerz 3, 2019
105 x 33 x 35 cm
Sculpture

€950

Smole, Chef de quai "double face" 2 - Smole sculpture, Sculpture

Smole

Chef de quai "double face" 2 - Smole sculpture, 2021
13 x 10 x 11 cm
Sculpture

€400

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
34 x 28 x 23 cm
Sculpture

€7,500

Yousha Bashir, Coeur percé noir de la série 'Anti Héro', Sculpture

Yousha Bashir

Coeur percé noir de la série 'Anti Héro', 2013
15 x 43 x 10 cm
Sculpture

€400

Queg, Geuldorak, Sculpture

Queg

Geuldorak, 2019
50 x 40 x 1 cm
Sculpture

€500

60 Artworks on 1707

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