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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, Sortir du bois, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Sortir du bois, 2021
15 x 6.7 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,928

Li Lihong, Mini Michelin China Silver, Sculpture

Li Lihong

Mini Michelin China Silver, 2020
3.9 x 3.5 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$373

S2Bart, Batman, Sculpture

S2Bart

Batman, 2021
9.8 x 8.3 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,742

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
11.4 x 4.7 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,617

Yaacov Agam, Cercle Haut, Sculpture

Yaacov Agam

Cercle Haut, 1969
85 x 35 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$30,000

Arsen, Poudre d'eskampette, Sculpture

Arsen

Poudre d'eskampette, 2021
37.8 x 33.1 x 1 inch
Sculpture

$1,232

Nicolas Dubreuille, Sans titre ref 328, Sculpture

Nicolas Dubreuille

Sans titre ref 328, 2021
15 x 11.8 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$4,354

John Clement, Dune Sunflower, Sculpture

John Clement

Dune Sunflower, 2017
39.5 x 30 x 32 inch
Sculpture

$15,000

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
26.4 x 10.6 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$4,354

Maxime Plancque, N°280, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

N°280, 2019
70.5 x 8.7 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,234

Stratos, Univers, Sculpture

Stratos

Univers, 2019
39.4 x 39.4 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$7,464

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
19.3 x 16.9 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,866

Caroline Brisset, Passenger II (CB40), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Passenger II (CB40), 2018
12.2 x 6.9 x 6.1 inch
Sculpture

$746

William David, Nova, Sculpture

William David

Nova, 2021
28.7 x 16.5 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

$1,555

Arno Sebban, Fake off, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Fake off, 2021
15 x 11.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$871

Philippe  Hiquily, Marathonienne, Sculpture

Philippe Hiquily

Marathonienne, 2020
6.3 x 4.5 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$746

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

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

$3,110

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
9.4 x 9.1 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$846

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
78.7 x 31.5 x 18.9 inch
Sculpture

$8,708

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
12.6 x 7.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$2,053

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

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

$37,320

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

$5,598

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

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 1, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 1, 2020
17.3 x 31.5 x 1.4 inch
Sculpture

$2,488

Maguy Banq, Sur la berge, Sculpture

Maguy Banq

Sur la berge, 2020
23.6 x 19.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$6,842

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
18.5 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$3,483

Michadu, Petit fou, Sculpture

Michadu

Petit fou, 2019
14.6 x 11 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$373

Céline Mahiques, Extincteur Coco Chanel, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

Extincteur Coco Chanel, 2020
23.6 x 3.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$597

Hellen Halftermeyer, Videacier 1, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Videacier 1, 2018
20.5 x 21.7 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$2,737

Claude Gilli, L’amour fou, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

L’amour fou, 2010
6.3 x 4.3 x 1.6 inch
Sculpture

$435

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

$1,617

Haude Bernabé, A bird without a song, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

A bird without a song, 2017
40.2 x 25.6 x 28.3 inch
Sculpture

$12,191

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
10.2 x 8.7 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$311

Fat, Astérix & Obélix Mailbox, Sculpture

Fat

Astérix & Obélix Mailbox, 2020
51.6 x 13.8 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$6,220

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

$9,641

Olivier de Sagazan, Fer et bois, Sculpture

Olivier de Sagazan

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

$4,354

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

$1,816

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
20.9 x 20.9 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,732

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
16.5 x 20.9 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,234

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

$1,617

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
27.6 x 27.6 x 27.6 inch
Sculpture

$6,158

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Blason, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Blason, 2021
35.4 x 25.6 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$15,550

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
19.3 x 15.7 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,244

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
18.5 x 22.4 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,742

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
43.3 x 11.8 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,856

Nicolas Delage, Black monochrome, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Black monochrome, 2020
37.8 x 72.8 x 0.1 inch
Sculpture

$7,588

Pinto, Acuario, Sculpture

Pinto

Acuario, 2019
9.8 x 17.7 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,120

Laurelle Bessé, Jardin suspendu, Sculpture

Laurelle Bessé

Jardin suspendu, 2018
78.7 x 17.7 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,861

Leo Factory, RX87M, Sculpture

Leo Factory

RX87M, 2020
25.2 x 14.6 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,344 $1,493

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

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Malabar crushed, 2019
15.7 x 11.8 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$560

Mel Ramos, Miss America, Sculpture

Mel Ramos

Miss America, 2008
27.5 x 35.4 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,700

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

Michel Audiard, Un ange passe, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Un ange passe, 2020
47.2 x 15.7 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$4,354

Efi Mashiah, Large Orange Lotus Ferrari, Sculpture

Efi Mashiah

Large Orange Lotus Ferrari, 2021
14.5 x 3 x 3 inch
Sculpture

$450

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

Jean-François Gambino

La course (EA I/IV), 2019
22.8 x 50 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$22,392

Jane Grieco, Port Navalo, Sculpture

Jane Grieco

Port Navalo, 2020
8.3 x 18.9 x 0.4 inch
Sculpture

$311

Sun7, Sans titre, Sculpture

Sun7

Sans titre, 2020
20.1 x 20.1 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$4,031

Lonzi, Broderie, Sculpture

Lonzi

Broderie, 2017
22.4 x 19.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,431

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
13.4 x 11 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$9,330

Guillaume Roche, Globe 20, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Globe 20, 2018
7.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,493

Fabian Albertini, Reduction of reality, loss of memory, Sculpture

Fabian Albertini

Reduction of reality, loss of memory, 2020
98.4 x 118.1 x 0.5 inch
Sculpture

$13,062

Frédéric Lavaud, L'échelle 115, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

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

$336

Florence Fabris, Sculpture Baby T-Rex 01, Sculpture

Florence Fabris

Sculpture Baby T-Rex 01, 2019
21.7 x 51.2 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,234

Cinz, Playerz 3, Sculpture

Cinz

Playerz 3, 2019
41.3 x 13 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,182

60 Artworks on 1776

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