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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 47-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Une larme 47-21, 2021
13 x 9.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,924

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
12.6 x 6.7 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$720

Maxime Plancque, N3, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N3, 2020
20.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$993

Yannick Bouillault, The purple spinnaker, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

The purple spinnaker, 2021
7.1 x 5.5 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$745

Floyd Elzinga, Pine Cone 21-062, Sculpture

Floyd Elzinga

Pine Cone 21-062, 2021
20 x 12 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$1,400

M.Chat, Paris Nuage, Sculpture

M.Chat

Paris Nuage, 2019
9.1 x 13.8 x 0.2 inch
Sculpture

$745

Hervé Larrieu (Gabadiko Ahotza), Chercheuses de lumière, Sculpture

Hervé Larrieu (Gabadiko Ahotza)

Chercheuses de lumière, 2021
36.2 x 8.7 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$2,482

Ivan Totev, Silhouette, Sculpture

Ivan Totev

Silhouette, 2019
30.3 x 14.2 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$6,826

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
26.4 x 10.6 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$4,344

Marc Sparza, La grande symphonie, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

La grande symphonie, 2021
33.1 x 17.3 x 3.5 inch
Sculpture

$931

Byung Kyu Kim, Play-Her, Sculpture

Byung Kyu Kim

Play-Her, 2015
18.5 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,103

Jihyung Nam, Dancing petals, Sculpture

Jihyung Nam

Dancing petals, 2021
31.5 x 19.7 x 19.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,807

Peter Robinson, Over Under, Sculpture

Peter Robinson

Over Under, 2017
11.3 x 0.6 x 0.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,551

KiKo, Fashion Hermès oil, Sculpture

KiKo

Fashion Hermès oil, 2021
23.6 x 15 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$1,738

Anastasiya Protsenko, The Sun, Sculpture

Anastasiya Protsenko

The Sun, 2019
14.4 x 24.8 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,117

Carlos Purroy, Cold Ice, Sculpture

Carlos Purroy

Cold Ice, 2012
30.3 x 22 x 13.4 inch
Sculpture

$10,419 $14,273

Stratos, Les volutes, Sculpture

Stratos

Les volutes, 2020
51.2 x 21.3 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$4,716

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

Jerrican'art Spyder, 2019
18.5 x 13.8 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,103

Arno Sebban, Famille, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Famille, 2019
77.6 x 18.9 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$4,840

Caroline Brisset, Sax (CB49), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Sax (CB49), 2018
16.5 x 2.8 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$1,241

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
9.4 x 9.1 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$844

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Rouge, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

Petit Bonhomme Rouge, 2020
27.6 x 21.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Hellen Halftermeyer, Videacier, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Videacier, 2020
17.3 x 16.9 x 11 inch
Sculpture

$2,358

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
78.7 x 31.5 x 18.9 inch
Sculpture

$8,688

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
18.5 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,475

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

Effondrement : 10 Arcs, 2016
4.7 x 19.7 x 19.9 inch
Sculpture

$37,233

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
12.6 x 7.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$2,048

Lonzi, Broderie, Sculpture

Lonzi

Broderie, 2017
22.4 x 19.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,427

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

From petty things, 2014
37.4 x 20.1 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$5,585

Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
23.6 x 23.6 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$4,964

William David, Abélia, Sculpture

William David

Abélia, 2020
28.3 x 15.7 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,489

Michadu, Petit fou, Sculpture

Michadu

Petit fou, 2019
14.6 x 11 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$372

Christophe Jehan, Un petit coin de ciel bleu, Sculpture

Christophe Jehan

Un petit coin de ciel bleu, 2016
13.4 x 7.5 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$1,613

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
10.2 x 8.7 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$310

Olivier de Sagazan, Fer et bois, Sculpture

Olivier de Sagazan

Fer et bois, 2008
38.2 x 7.9 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$4,344

Sébastien Ruiz, Femme volcan, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Femme volcan, 2016
11.4 x 5.1 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$1,613

Philippe Leleu, Alopitèque double socle métal gold & black, Sculpture

Philippe Leleu

Alopitèque double socle métal gold & black, 2019
18.3 x 18.5 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,812

William Roobrouck, Désire perceptible, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Désire perceptible, 2017
86.6 x 59.1 x 23.6 inch
Sculpture

$23,519

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
27.6 x 15.7 x 26 inch
Sculpture

$1,613

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

Alma Dura II, 2017
47.2 x 15.7 x 15.7 inch
Sculpture

$9,619

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
19.3 x 15.7 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,241

Gregorio Siem, Sphere Orange and Blue - Variable Code, Sculpture

Gregorio Siem

Sphere Orange and Blue - Variable Code, 2019
27.6 x 26.8 x 26.8 inch
Sculpture

$7,323

Nicolas Delage, Reflet, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Reflet, 2020
78.7 x 16.9 x 13 inch
Sculpture

Sold out

Frédéric Beaufils, Spirale bleue, Sculpture

Frédéric Beaufils

Spirale bleue, 2008
36.6 x 15.4 x 15.7 inch
Sculpture

$19,113

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
16.5 x 20.9 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,227

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
43.3 x 11.8 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,847

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
18.5 x 22.4 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,738

Leo Factory, RX20N, Sculpture

Leo Factory

RX20N, 2021
24.4 x 10.6 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$1,489

Jane Grieco, Cancale - Les laveuses d'huitres, Sculpture

Jane Grieco

Cancale - Les laveuses d'huitres, 2020
9.1 x 18.5 x 0.4 inch
Sculpture

$310

Mel Ramos, Miss America, Sculpture

Mel Ramos

Miss America, 2008
27.5 x 35.4 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,700

Eskos, Box - tag wall, Sculpture

Eskos

Box - tag wall, 2019
5.1 x 7.7 x 1.4 inch
Sculpture

$149

Laurelle Bessé, Jardin suspendu, Sculpture

Laurelle Bessé

Jardin suspendu, 2018
78.7 x 17.7 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,855

Our recommendations Tom Wesselmann, Monica with a Purple Hat, Sculpture

Tom Wesselmann

Monica with a Purple Hat, 1985
4 x 5 x 0.5 inch
Sculpture

$75,000

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
13.4 x 11 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$9,308

Guillaume Roche, Globe 30, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Globe 30, 2018
11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$2,234

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

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Malabar crushed, 2019
15.7 x 11.8 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$559

Gil.S, Coco bel oeil, Sculpture

Gil.S

Coco bel oeil, 2020
29.5 x 6.3 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$621

Mohammad Ardakani, Aleph n°905, Sculpture

Mohammad Ardakani

Aleph n°905, 2017
39.4 x 39.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,103

Frédéric Lavaud, L'échelle 115, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

L'échelle 115, 2020
26 x 5.1 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$335

Quentin DMR, Casse tête, Sculpture

Quentin DMR

Casse tête, 2020
70.9 x 19.7 x 19.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,972

Sun7, Sans titre, Sculpture

Sun7

Sans titre, 2020
20.1 x 20.1 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$4,021

Steve Chaudanson, Panther, Sculpture

Steve Chaudanson

Panther, 2020
43.3 x 31.5 x 94.5 inch
Sculpture

$21,098

Our recommendations Carlo Amen, Nous, Sculpture

Carlo Amen

Nous, 2019
17.7 x 11.8 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$2,234

Paul Stein, Free Reign, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Free Reign, 2019
18.9 x 10.2 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

$1,800

60 Artworks on 1678

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