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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, Une Larme, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Une Larme, 2021
21 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,556

C215, Oncle Sam, Sculpture

C215

Oncle Sam, 2020
63 x 39 x 10 cm
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Maxime Plancque, N°359, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N°359, 2021
114 x 18 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,795

Iryna Antoniuk (Tone), Alien Spider Sculpture Gold Legs Abstract Animal Sculpture, Sculpture

Iryna Antoniuk (Tone)

Alien Spider Sculpture Gold Legs Abstract Animal Sculpture, 2021
10 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm
Sculpture

$769 $961

Aldric Bendahmane, L'attente, Sculpture

Aldric Bendahmane

L'attente, 2021
32 x 20 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$419

Fabian Albertini, Linhas #6, Sculpture

Fabian Albertini

Linhas #6, 2021
51 x 28 x 33 cm
Sculpture

$4,667

Yannick Bouillault, L'élégant, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

L'élégant, 2021
42 x 15 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$1,556

Cha Môkeur, Excentric Balancing, Sculpture

Cha Môkeur

Excentric Balancing, 2020
45 x 25 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$682

M.Chat, Paris Nuage, Sculpture

M.Chat

Paris Nuage, 2019
23 x 35 x 0.5 cm
Sculpture

$718

Ghost Art, LVxAK47, Sculpture

Ghost Art

LVxAK47, 2019
66 x 126 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$3,920 $4,667

Stratos, Voyage, Sculpture

Stratos

Voyage, 2021
50 x 50 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,273

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018
35 x 22 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$2,393

Arno Sebban, Fake off, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Fake off, 2021
38 x 29 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$838

Michel Audiard, Panda, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Panda, 2017
38 x 52 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,197

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

Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
30 x 80 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$2,393

Jean-François Gambino, Paradis perdu (6/8), Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

Paradis perdu (6/8), 2019
35 x 135 x 43 cm
Sculpture

$45,469

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
26 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$299

Michadu, Pink Warrior, Sculpture

Michadu

Pink Warrior, 2019
63 x 29 x 27 cm
Sculpture

$658

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

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

$2,662 $2,991

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

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

$5,384

Céline Mahiques, Jerricane Louis Vuitton, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

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

$838

David Moreno, Vertical en construction 1, Sculpture

David Moreno

Vertical en construction 1, 2021
54 x 33 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,590

Claude Gilli, L’amour fou, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

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

$419

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$814

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Rouge, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

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

2,500 - $ 5,000

Maguy Banq, Conversation, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

Conversation, 2017
10 x 32 x 18.5 cm
Sculpture

$4,786

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

$1,556

Rodrigo Romero Perez, Pan Troglodytes 2, Sculpture

Rodrigo Romero Perez

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

$1,316

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

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

$35,896

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
29 x 12 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,556

Farid Achezegag, Icare, Sculpture

Farid Achezegag

Icare, 2019
20 x 20 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$1,556

Our recommendations Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
60 x 60 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$4,786

Nicolas Delage, Sans titre, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Sans titre, 2021
81 x 40 x 46 cm
Sculpture

$2,273

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

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

$1,556

Our recommendations Haude Bernabé, Twins, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

Twins, 2015
78 x 22 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$9,812

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
49 x 40 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,197

Issiaka Savadogo, Révolu, Sculpture

Issiaka Savadogo

Révolu, 2018
68 x 21 x 27 cm
Sculpture

$1,017

GiFoArs, Vintage, Sculpture

GiFoArs

Vintage, 2019
30.5 x 8.7 x 8.7 cm
Sculpture

$538

Lionel Couvrandt, Product 140/90 Notre DAme de Fàtima, Sculpture

Lionel Couvrandt

Product 140/90 Notre DAme de Fàtima, 2015
14 x 9 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$1,436

Bruno Guihéneuf, Flux 165, Sculpture

Bruno Guihéneuf

Flux 165, 2018
27 x 40 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$1,675

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Sunset, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Sunset, 2020
72 x 132 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$14,957

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
47 x 57 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$1,914

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
53 x 53 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$3,590

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

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

$9,273

Vladas Kanciauskas, Apple | Sculpture Contemporaine, Sculpture

Vladas Kanciauskas

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

$6,820

Hervé Di Rosa, Le Rocker, Sculpture

Hervé Di Rosa

Le Rocker, 2018
45 x 25 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$3,470

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,111

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
70 x 70 x 70 cm
Sculpture

$5,923

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
34 x 28 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$17,350

Caroline Brisset, Gaïa (CB38), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

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

$598

Bruno Durieux, Polychrome #1, Sculpture

Bruno Durieux

Polychrome #1, 2015
65 x 70 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$3,111

Jean-No, Géode N°3, Sculpture

Jean-No

Géode N°3, 2020
20 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$2,214

Nobody, Mickey, Sculpture

Nobody

Mickey, 2020
21 x 11 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$120

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
32 x 20 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,974

Landry Clément, Flabellum (LC48), Sculpture

Landry Clément

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

$742

Frédéric Lavaud, Dans le vent, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

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

$1,316

Bernard Rives, Pig Pride, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Pig Pride, 2018
42 x 40 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$2,214

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

$550

Gil.S, Les 4 Eléments, Sculpture

Gil.S

Les 4 Eléments, 2017
56 x 23 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$838

Guillaume Roche, Diamond1, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Diamond1, 2020
50 x 10 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,137

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 9-6, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 9-6, 2020
40 x 40 x 3.5 cm
Sculpture

$1,675

Paul Stein, Equinox, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Equinox, 2019
47 x 44 x 44 cm
Sculpture

$1,800

Leo Factory, RX35G, Sculpture

Leo Factory

RX35G, 2016
44 x 26 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$1,077

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