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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
8.3 x 3.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,552

C215, Oncle Sam, Sculpture

C215

Oncle Sam, 2020
24.8 x 15.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Toctoc, Les Beatles Duduss, Sculpture

Toctoc

Les Beatles Duduss, 2020
9.8 x 31.5 x 1.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,015

Jean-Jacques Joujon, Buste BullDog, Sculpture

Jean-Jacques Joujon

Buste BullDog, 2021
11.8 x 7.9 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$704

Iryna Antoniuk (Tone), Bowl with Falling Apples, Steel Minimalistic Abstract Sculpture, Sculpture

Iryna Antoniuk (Tone)

Bowl with Falling Apples, Steel Minimalistic Abstract Sculpture, 2021
9.3 x 6.1 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$993

Aldric Bendahmane, L'attente, Sculpture

Aldric Bendahmane

L'attente, 2021
12.6 x 7.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$418

Réjane LeChat, Dialogue grand 1/8, Sculpture

Réjane LeChat

Dialogue grand 1/8, 2021
17.3 x 17.3 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$2,268

Yannick Bouillault, Colorant alimentaire, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

Colorant alimentaire, 2021
15.4 x 10.2 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,432

Fabian Albertini, Linhas #6, Sculpture

Fabian Albertini

Linhas #6, 2021
20.1 x 11 x 13 inch
Sculpture

$4,655

Jin-Sook So, Untitled 3 Red Bowls, Sculpture

Jin-Sook So

Untitled 3 Red Bowls, 2019
4 x 6.5 x 5 inch
Sculpture

Sold

M.Chat, Paris Nuage, Sculpture

M.Chat

Paris Nuage, 2019
9.1 x 13.8 x 0.2 inch
Sculpture

$716

Ghost Art, LVxAK47, Sculpture

Ghost Art

LVxAK47, 2019
26 x 49.6 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$3,910 $4,655

Stratos, Voyage, Sculpture

Stratos

Voyage, 2021
19.7 x 19.7 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$2,268

Michel Audiard, Panda, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

Panda, 2017
15 x 20.5 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,194

Arno Sebban, Fake off, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Fake off, 2021
15 x 11.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$835

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

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

Jean-François Gambino

Paradis perdu (6/8), 2019
13.8 x 53.1 x 16.9 inch
Sculpture

$45,354

Michadu, Série 6-9, Sculpture

Michadu

Série 6-9, 2019
15.7 x 4.7 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$418

Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
11.8 x 31.5 x 21.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,387

Céline Mahiques, Jerricane Supreme, Sculpture

Céline Mahiques

Jerricane Supreme, 2020
15.4 x 11 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$656

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018
13.8 x 8.7 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$2,387

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

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

$2,656 $2,984

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

$5,371

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
9.4 x 9.1 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$812

David Moreno, Vertical en construction 1, Sculpture

David Moreno

Vertical en construction 1, 2021
21.3 x 13 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,581

Claude Gilli, L’amour fou, Sculpture

Claude Gilli

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

$418

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

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

$1,552

Rodrigo Romero Perez, Pan Troglodytes 2, Sculpture

Rodrigo Romero Perez

Pan Troglodytes 2, 2020
55.1 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,313

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

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

$35,806

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
10.2 x 8.7 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$298

Abou Sidibé, Le griot du village, Sculpture

Abou Sidibé

Le griot du village, 2011
33.1 x 9.1 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

$770 $895

Sébastien Ruiz, Le légionnaire, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Le légionnaire, 2020
11.4 x 4.7 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,552

Farid Achezegag, Icare, Sculpture

Farid Achezegag

Icare, 2019
7.9 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,552

Our recommendations Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
23.6 x 23.6 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$4,774

Nicolas Delage, Sans titre, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Sans titre, 2021
31.9 x 15.7 x 18.1 inch
Sculpture

$2,268

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

$1,552

Our recommendations Haude Bernabé, Twins, Sculpture

Haude Bernabé

Twins, 2015
30.7 x 8.7 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$9,787

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
19.3 x 15.7 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,194

Issiaka Savadogo, Révolu, Sculpture

Issiaka Savadogo

Révolu, 2018
26.8 x 8.3 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

$1,015

GiFoArs, Vintage, Sculpture

GiFoArs

Vintage, 2019
12 x 3.4 x 3.4 inch
Sculpture

$537

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

Lionel Couvrandt

Product 140/90 Notre DAme de Fàtima, 2015
5.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inch
Sculpture

$1,432

Bruno Guihéneuf, Flux 165, Sculpture

Bruno Guihéneuf

Flux 165, 2018
10.6 x 15.7 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,671

Stevens Dossou-Yovo, Sunset, Sculpture

Stevens Dossou-Yovo

Sunset, 2020
28.3 x 52 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$18,357

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
18.5 x 22.4 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$2,351

Dario Perez-Flores, Prochromatique 3, Sculpture

Dario Perez-Flores

Prochromatique 3, 2010
20.9 x 20.9 x 2.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,581

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

$9,250

Vladas Kanciauskas, Apple | Sculpture Contemporaine, Sculpture

Vladas Kanciauskas

Apple | Sculpture Contemporaine, 2003
15.7 x 13.4 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,803

Hervé Di Rosa, Le Rocker, Sculpture

Hervé Di Rosa

Le Rocker, 2018
17.7 x 9.8 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,461

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
16.5 x 20.9 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$3,103

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
27.6 x 27.6 x 27.6 inch
Sculpture

$5,908

Our recommendations Luca Izzo, Introspection, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Introspection, 2019
13.4 x 11 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$17,306

Caroline Brisset, Gaïa (CB38), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Gaïa (CB38), 2018
19.7 x 3.5 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$597

Pinto, Rivage, Sculpture

Pinto

Rivage, 2018
8.3 x 11 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$859 $955

Bruno Durieux, Polychrome #1, Sculpture

Bruno Durieux

Polychrome #1, 2015
25.6 x 27.6 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$3,103

Jean-No, Géode N°3, Sculpture

Jean-No

Géode N°3, 2020
7.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$2,208

Nobody, Mickey, Sculpture

Nobody

Mickey, 2020
8.3 x 4.3 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$119

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
12.6 x 7.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,969

Landry Clément, Flabellum (LC48), Sculpture

Landry Clément

Flabellum (LC48), 2021
13.4 x 8.7 x 1.2 inch
Sculpture

$740

Frédéric Lavaud, Dans le vent, Sculpture

Frédéric Lavaud

Dans le vent, 2020
37.4 x 18.5 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

$1,313

Noël Granger, Boîte à messages  "je t'aime", Sculpture

Noël Granger

Boîte à messages "je t'aime", 2021
6.3 x 3.5 x 3.5 inch
Sculpture

$549

Bernard Rives, Pig Pride, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Pig Pride, 2018
16.5 x 15.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$2,208

Gil.S, Les 4 Eléments, Sculpture

Gil.S

Les 4 Eléments, 2017
22 x 9.1 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$835

Bounoure & Genevaux, Composition 9-6, Sculpture

Bounoure & Genevaux

Composition 9-6, 2020
15.7 x 15.7 x 1.4 inch
Sculpture

$1,671

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