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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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Christophe Charbonnel, Dryade II, Sculpture

Christophe Charbonnel

Dryade II, 2021
51 x 48 x 48 cm


David Vaamonde, Equilibre (DV17), Sculpture

David Vaamonde

Equilibre (DV17), 2021
67 x 9 x 5 cm


Jérôme Mesnager, Passion, Sculpture

Jérôme Mesnager

Passion, 2021
22 x 11 x 5 cm


Julie Espiau, Abandonée, Sculpture

Julie Espiau

Abandonée, 2021
10 x 22 x 17 cm


Pablo Picasso, Madoura Ceramic Plate - Tête de chèvre de profil, Ramié 106, Sculpture

Pablo Picasso

Madoura Ceramic Plate - Tête de chèvre de profil, Ramié 106, 1950
25.1 x 25.1 x 5.1 cm


Patrick Chappert-Gaujal, Sans titre, Sculpture

Patrick Chappert-Gaujal

Sans titre, 2019
37 x 36 x 12 cm


Anna Sidi Yacoub, Water Reflections in Blue, Sculpture

Anna Sidi Yacoub

Water Reflections in Blue, 2021
88 x 90 x 2 cm


Costa, Mines, Sculpture


Mines, 2021
60 x 60 x 4 cm


Jean-François Fouilhoux, Louise, Sculpture

Jean-François Fouilhoux

Louise, 2020
33 x 35 x 11 cm


Milko Dobrev, Phoenix, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Phoenix, 2021
30 x 8 x 5 cm


Yaacov Agam, Cercle Haut, Sculpture

Yaacov Agam

Cercle Haut, 1969
215.9 x 88.9 x 5.1 cm


Thierry Corpet, Totem - Parker, Sculpture

Thierry Corpet

Totem - Parker, 2021
45 x 20 x 9.5 cm


Nicolas Dubreuille, Sans titre ref 328, Sculpture

Nicolas Dubreuille

Sans titre ref 328, 2021
38 x 30 x 23 cm


Patrick Salamone, Ice Lolly Bublles N°103, Sculpture

Patrick Salamone

Ice Lolly Bublles N°103, 2021
71 x 26 x 0.6 cm


Pierre-Luc Poujol, Dripping energy, Sculpture

Pierre-Luc Poujol

Dripping energy, 2021
198 x 17 x 6 cm


Yannick Bouillault, Yellow period, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

Yellow period, 2021
16 x 6.5 x 5 cm


Karen Marre, Elévation 6, Sculpture

Karen Marre

Elévation 6, 2020
44 x 55 x 19 cm


Gor Avetisyan, Formation of Peace, Sculpture

Gor Avetisyan

Formation of Peace, 2021
23 x 23 x 13 cm


Gaël Rouxeville, Sortir du Cadre, Sculpture

Gaël Rouxeville

Sortir du Cadre, 2019
64 x 48 x 37 cm


Joëlle Laboue, Sil 1, Sculpture

Joëlle Laboue

Sil 1, 2021
45 x 10 x 10 cm


Aldric Bendahmane, L'observateur, Sculpture

Aldric Bendahmane

L'observateur, 2021
44 x 15 x 10 cm


Aramis Justiz, Tramontana, Sculpture

Aramis Justiz

Tramontana, 2014
54 x 60 x 42 cm


Bernard Métranve, Codex I, Sculpture

Bernard Métranve

Codex I, 2018
46 x 37 x 13 cm


Inav A. Panov, Bird Teapot, Sculpture

Inav A. Panov

Bird Teapot, 2020
26 x 26 x 12 cm


Angélina Maia, Naya, Sculpture

Angélina Maia

Naya, 2019
68 x 38 x 18 cm


Pat Campbell, Mandala IV, Sculpture

Pat Campbell

Mandala IV, 2012
50.2 x 36.8 x 25.1 cm


Polly Sutton, Moho, Sculpture

Polly Sutton

Moho, 2019
33 x 33 x 25.4 cm


Olivier Mathé, Miss Dudu, Sculpture

Olivier Mathé

Miss Dudu, 2021
37 x 13 x 10 cm


Carolina Yrarrazaval, Brocado en Rafia, Sculpture

Carolina Yrarrazaval

Brocado en Rafia, 2009
130.8 x 81.9 x 1.3 cm


Zed, Flexo be cool 3 diams, Sculpture


Flexo be cool 3 diams, 2021
40 x 20 x 20 cm


Raphael Fenice, Hommage à Malevitch, Sculpture

Raphael Fenice

Hommage à Malevitch, 2018
100 x 100 x 11 cm


In the Woup, Goku, Sculpture

In the Woup

Goku, 2021
72 x 50 x 2 cm


Nathanael Koffi, « 3 », Sculpture

Nathanael Koffi

« 3 », 2021
22 x 11.5 x 5 cm


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


Mac Whitney, Escobas, Sculpture

Mac Whitney

Escobas, 2005
457.2 x 213.4 x 152.4 cm


Dawn MacNutt, Ithaka, Sculpture

Dawn MacNutt

Ithaka, 2006
275.6 x 53.3 x 61 cm


Gyongy Laky, Variant, Sculpture

Gyongy Laky

Variant, 2021
76.2 x 50.8 x 10.2 cm


Anachar Basbous, Sculpture M15, Sculpture

Anachar Basbous

Sculpture M15, 2021
431.8 x 132.1 x 132.1 cm


Sylvie Guyomard, Desert Signe XIX (SG199), Sculpture

Sylvie Guyomard

Desert Signe XIX (SG199), 2021
52 x 42.5 x 3 cm


Toshio Sekiji, Counterpoint 8, Sculpture

Toshio Sekiji

Counterpoint 8, 2009
71.1 x 63.5 x 10.2 cm


Zofia Butrymowicz, Marco, Sculpture

Zofia Butrymowicz

Marco, 1969
94 x 86.4 x 2.5 cm


Sue Lawty, Triginta Annis, Sculpture

Sue Lawty

Triginta Annis, 2017
68.6 x 66 x 2.5 cm


Federica Luzzi, Macramé Red Shell 1, Sculpture

Federica Luzzi

Macramé Red Shell 1, 2021
33 x 27.9 x 24.1 cm


Adela Akers, Rain and Smoke, Sculpture

Adela Akers

Rain and Smoke, 2021
76.2 x 55.9 x 2.5 cm


Philippe Valensi, Météorite bronze alpha, Sculpture

Philippe Valensi

Météorite bronze alpha, 2019
40 x 44 x 8 cm


Stratos, Univers, Sculpture


Univers, 2019
100 x 100 x 5 cm


Maxime Plancque, N°280, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N°280, 2019
179 x 22 x 22 cm


Virginia Benedicto, Ariane, Sculpture

Virginia Benedicto

Ariane, 2021
40 x 40 x 40 cm


Aspencrow, Censored, Sculpture


Censored, 2020
21 x 11 x 7 cm


Igor Mitoraj, Eclipse 2, Sculpture

Igor Mitoraj

Eclipse 2, 1978
20 x 32 x 22 cm


Our recommendations Jan Kaláb, Honour to Brancusi, Sculpture

Jan Kaláb

Honour to Brancusi, 2019
300 x 120 x 120 cm


Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture


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


Caroline Brisset, Passenger II (CB40), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Passenger II (CB40), 2018
31 x 17.5 x 15.5 cm


Maxime Davoust, La Grande Victoire Graffée, Sculpture

Maxime Davoust

La Grande Victoire Graffée, 2021
100 x 70 x 70 cm


Alberonero, Scala, Sculpture


Scala, 2019
83 x 57 x 31 cm


Shaka, Corps Noir, Sculpture


Corps Noir, 2019
120 x 120 x 40 cm


Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
200 x 80 x 48 cm


Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

Effondrement : 10 Arcs, 2016
12 x 50 x 50.5 cm


Philip Hearsey, First impression, Sculpture

Philip Hearsey

First impression, 2014
18 x 17 x 17 cm


Roland Masson, Rencontre, Sculpture

Roland Masson

Rencontre, 2018
71 x 22 x 22 cm


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

Karel Appel

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


Our recommendations Olivier Aubry, C19001, Sculpture

Olivier Aubry

C19001, 2001
19 x 10 x 10 cm


Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
44 x 80 x 3.5 cm


Our recommendations Julio Le Parc, Mobile Losange Rouge, Sculpture

Julio Le Parc

Mobile Losange Rouge, 2017
80 x 80 x 12 cm


60 Artworks on 3965

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