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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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Claude Gilli, L’amour fou, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

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

$433

Li Lihong, Mini Michelin China Silver, Sculpture

Li Lihong

Mini Michelin China Silver, 2020
10 x 9 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$371

Philippe Buil, Sortir du bois, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Sortir du bois, 2021
38 x 17 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,917

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
29 x 12 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$1,608

Yaacov Agam, Cercle Haut, Sculpture

Yaacov Agam

Cercle Haut, 1969
215.9 x 88.9 x 5.1 cm
Sculpture

$30,000

Nicolas Dubreuille, Sans titre ref 328, Sculpture

Nicolas Dubreuille

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

$4,328

Karen Marre, Elévation 6, Sculpture

Karen Marre

Elévation 6, 2020
44 x 55 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$2,473

Aldric Bendahmane, L'observateur, Sculpture

Aldric Bendahmane

L'observateur, 2021
44 x 15 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$371

Laszlo Komaromi, Eagle with Snake, Sculpture

Laszlo Komaromi

Eagle with Snake, 2017
100 x 220 x 100 cm
Sculpture

$30,914

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
67 x 27 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$4,328

John Clement, Dune Sunflower, Sculpture

John Clement

Dune Sunflower, 2017
100.3 x 76.2 x 81.3 cm
Sculpture

$15,000

Stratos, Univers, Sculpture

Stratos

Univers, 2019
100 x 100 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$7,419

Maxime Plancque, N°280, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

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

$3,215

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
49 x 43 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$1,855

Caroline Brisset, Passenger II (CB40), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

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

$742

Arno Sebban, Fake off, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Fake off, 2021
38 x 29 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$866

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$841

William David, Nova, Sculpture

William David

Nova, 2021
73 x 42 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$1,546

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
200 x 80 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$8,656

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
32 x 20 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$2,040

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

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

$37,097

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

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

$5,565

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Rouge, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

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

2,500 - $ 5,000

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
44 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Sculpture

$2,473

Maguy Banq, Sur la berge, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

Sur la berge, 2020
60 x 49 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$6,801

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
47 x 20 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$3,462

Michadu, Petit fou, Sculpture

Michadu

Petit fou, 2019
37 x 28 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$371

Hellen Halftermeyer, Videacier 1, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Videacier 1, 2018
52 x 55 x 38 cm
Sculpture

$2,720

Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
60 x 60 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$4,946

Céline Mahiques, Extincteur Coco Chanel, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

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

$594

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

$1,608

Haude Bernabé, A bird without a song, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

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

$12,118

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
26 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$309

Olivier de Sagazan, Fer et bois, Sculpture

Olivier de Sagazan

Fer et bois, 2008
97 x 20 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$4,328

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

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

$1,608

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

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

$9,583

Fat, Astérix & Obélix Mailbox, Sculpture

Fat

Astérix & Obélix Mailbox, 2020
131 x 35 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$6,183

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
53 x 53 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$3,710

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,215

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
70 x 70 x 70 cm
Sculpture

$6,121

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

$1,805

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Blason, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Blason, 2021
90 x 65 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$15,457

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
49 x 40 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,237

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
47 x 57 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$1,731

Nicolas Delage, Black monochrome, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Black monochrome, 2020
96 x 185 x 0.2 cm
Sculpture

$7,543

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
110 x 30 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,833

Laurelle Bessé, Jardin suspendu, Sculpture

Laurelle Bessé

Jardin suspendu, 2018
200 x 45 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,844

Leo Factory, Mister Shell - RX41M, Sculpture

Leo Factory

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

$868 $965

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z, Malabar crushed, Sculpture

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Malabar crushed, 2019
40 x 30 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$556

Michel Audiard, Un ange passe, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Un ange passe, 2020
120 x 40 x 38 cm
Sculpture

$4,328

Pinto, Acuario, Sculpture

Pinto

Acuario, 2019
25 x 45 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$1,113

Paul Stein, Undercurrent, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Undercurrent, 2016
73 x 60 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$3,700

Sun7, Sans titre, Sculpture

Sun7

Sans titre, 2020
51 x 51 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$4,006

Jean-François Gambino, La course (EA I/IV), Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

La course (EA I/IV), 2019
58 x 127 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$22,258

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

Jane Grieco, Port Navalo, Sculpture

Jane Grieco

Port Navalo, 2020
21 x 48 x 1 cm
Sculpture

$309

Nicolas Desbons, Solo, Sculpture

Nicolas Desbons

Solo, 2020
98 x 12 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$3,957

Mel Ramos, Miss America, Sculpture

Mel Ramos

Miss America, 2008
69.9 x 89.9 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,700

Lonzi, Broderie, Sculpture

Lonzi

Broderie, 2017
57 x 50 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,422

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
34 x 28 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$9,274

Efi Mashiah, Large Orange Lotus Ferrari, Sculpture

Efi Mashiah

Large Orange Lotus Ferrari, 2021
36.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm
Sculpture

$450

Mario Pasqualotto, Asian Dream, Sculpture

Mario Pasqualotto

Asian Dream, 2007
50 x 50 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$3,586

Guillaume Roche, Globe 20, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Globe 20, 2018
20 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$1,484

Frédéric Lavaud, L'échelle 115, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

L'échelle 115, 2020
66 x 13 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$334

60 Artworks on 1776

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