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Abstract Sculpture

The origins of abstract sculpture lie in the artistic developments of the 19th and 20th centuries. By ceasing to use antiquity as a source of inspiration, which had previously dominated sculptural creation for centuries, Auguste Rodin led the way for modern sculpture. Although Rodin’s sculptures continued to respect the principles of classical art, his work encouraged many 20th century sculptors to break away from traditional conventions.

Rodin’s sculptures were a source of inspiration for Brancusi and his distinctive use of clean, simple lines. He later went on to pave the way for abstract sculpture.

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by several discoveries including key mathematical advances which fascinated intellectuals. At the same time, many exiled European artists arrived in Paris seeking refuge, and formed various different art movements, each one hoping to lead the way for a better world. The World Wars were fundamental in encouraging artists to detach themselves from the violence of their lived realities.

A new form of expression appeared; abstraction! Artists no longer wanted to represent reality in a figural way but explored expressing the immaterial using shapes, colour…

Cubism was responsible for introducing the use of geometric shapes to modern art. Representing real life objects as shapes from different angles allowed the artist to create completely new perspectives. Thank you Pablo Picasso! Sculpture was no longer obliged to represent reality in a literal sense as we see it before our very eyes. Sculpture became the object in its own right, embodying its very essence.

Perhaps out of necessity, Cubists imposed few limits in regards to the materials they worked with, many of which were not as ‘noble’ as those previously used in sculpture and included steel and cardboard.

Several movements were to follow, including Dadaism, Neo-Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, all of which helped to expand abstract art.

Marcel Duchamp, who had shown interest in the movement, introduced the art world to his ‘ready-mades’, establishing the idea that an artwork can be a manufactured object. In his view, it was up to the artist to decide whether something is worthy of being called a work of art or not.

Italian Futurism focused on the representation of movement and was responsible for the creation of kinetic art, in which movement is the artwork itself. One artist in particular had a profound impact on abstract sculpture and that was Thank you Alexander Calder. His famous mobiles were made of thin strips of smooth metal, tied together with strong wire. His colour palette was inspired by Piet Mondrian and he was even quoted as saying: ‘I want to make Mondrians that move.’ Jean Tinguely and Nicolas Schöffer also explored kinetic art and the use of robotics.

As art continued to deal with objects taken from daily life, artists increasingly used poorer materials or objects that had been recycled.

After the Second World War, sculptors could start to be creative on an even bigger scale. Thanks to increased industrialisation, they could produce larger sculptures which were highly weather-resistant, creating possibilities for outdoor creations. Within the Land Art movement, Christo and Jeanne Claude create sculptures which are directly part of the landscape. In Minimalism, the sculpture and its material are determined by its environment so as to highlight the sense of emptiness and space which surrounds it. An excellent example of minimalist sculpture would be Richard Serra’s gigantic creations which allow visitors to explore and wander around inside them.

Some of the biggest names incontemporary sculpture include Anish Kapoor, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Henry Moore Barbara Hepworth, Louise Bourgeois and Sol LeWitt.

Discover Artsper’s collection of abstract sculpture from contemporary artists such as Man Ray, Victor Vasarely, César and Nando Stevoli...

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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Miguel Guía, Chien Ballon apesanteur en nickel bleue 63, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Chien Ballon apesanteur en nickel bleue 63, 2021
63 x 12 x 12 cm


Nicolas Dubreuille, Sans titre ref (332), Sculpture

Nicolas Dubreuille

Sans titre ref (332), 2021
80 x 60 x 50 cm


Pierre Ribà, Bon espoir, Sculpture

Pierre Ribà

Bon espoir, 2020
80 x 60 x 12 cm


Mihaela Mihaylova, Spill 2, Sculpture

Mihaela Mihaylova

Spill 2, 2021
25 x 22 x 1.5 cm


Anna Sidi Yacoub, Bronze reflections, Sculpture

Anna Sidi Yacoub

Bronze reflections, 2021
118 x 90 x 3 cm


Secca, Japan, Sculpture


Japan, 2016
40 x 65 x 68 cm


Nathalie CIRINO, Sérénité II, Sculpture

Nathalie CIRINO

Sérénité II, 2020
23 x 24 x 17 cm


Edmée Delsol, Rocher III, Sculpture

Edmée Delsol

Rocher III, 2016
45 x 54 x 17 cm


Wenqi Liu, Texture II, Sculpture

Wenqi Liu

Texture II, 2020
39.5 x 28 x 4 cm


Jean-Yves Gosti, Le joyeux silex, Sculpture

Jean-Yves Gosti

Le joyeux silex, 2020
39.6 x 21.2 x 17 cm


Gérard Beaucousin, Brume, Sculpture

Gérard Beaucousin

Brume, 2017
24 x 27 x 13.3 cm


Santicri, Brush, Sculpture


Brush, 2021
40 x 17 x 2 cm


Poonam Choudhary, Vase, Sculpture

Poonam Choudhary

Vase, 2021
45.7 x 22.9 x 22.9 cm


Milko Dobrev, Eagle, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Eagle, 2021
47 x 12 x 7 cm


Muriel Deumie, Passage équilibré, Sculpture

Muriel Deumie

Passage équilibré, 2021
60 x 80 x 4 cm


Anany, Pierre de Rêve - Bleu céladon, Sculpture


Pierre de Rêve - Bleu céladon, 2021
19 x 15 x 0.3 cm


Christian Nesler, Lac, Sculpture

Christian Nesler

Lac, 2021
60 x 120 x 3 cm


Pinto, Jour de fête, Sculpture


Jour de fête, 2021
62 x 8 x 4 cm


Yannick Bouillault, The purple spinnaker, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

The purple spinnaker, 2021
18 x 14 x 16 cm


Réjane LeChat, Les Esprits de la terre groupe 1, Sculpture

Réjane LeChat

Les Esprits de la terre groupe 1, 2021
25 x 42 x 11 cm


Gor Avetisyan, Object, Sculpture

Gor Avetisyan

Object, 2020
25 x 25 x 4 cm


Zed, Flexo Be Audacious 3 Rouge, Sculpture


Flexo Be Audacious 3 Rouge, 2021
44 x 10 x 10 cm

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Dine Chanima, I worked for, Sculpture

Dine Chanima

I worked for, 2021
30 x 30 x 7 cm


Our recommendations Sanne Terweij, Forest N°1 - Colour Capsule - "In the shade of the trees", Sculpture

Sanne Terweij

Forest N°1 - Colour Capsule - "In the shade of the trees", 2021
20.5 x 20.5 x 4 cm


Ivan Totev, The Caravan, Sculpture

Ivan Totev

The Caravan, 2020
28 x 36 x 18 cm


Bennie, Coquillage enfumé, Sculpture


Coquillage enfumé, 2021
17 x 36 x 20 cm


Aude Herlédan, Wing, Sculpture

Aude Herlédan

Wing, 2019
61 x 36 x 25 cm


Marc Sparza, Contre temps, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

Contre temps, 2020
37 x 30 x 10 cm


Volodymyr Semkiv, Fetish, Sculpture

Volodymyr Semkiv

Fetish, 2012
35 x 5 x 4.5 cm


Nuge, Timeslip, Sculpture


Timeslip, 2021
127 x 127 x 8.9 cm


Marcelo Mendonça, My Broken Heart, Sculpture

Marcelo Mendonça

My Broken Heart, 2021
30 x 20 x 10 cm


Our recommendations Valentine Esteve, I, Modern Archive, Sculpture

Valentine Esteve

I, Modern Archive, 2021
22 x 20 x 3 cm


Didier Saba, Goldblue, Sculpture

Didier Saba

Goldblue, 2021
34 x 28 x 4 cm


Fernanda Gomes, Untitled, Sculpture

Fernanda Gomes

Untitled, 2012
35 x 6 x 5 cm


Our recommendations Chandler McLellan, Simulacra, Sculpture

Chandler McLellan

Simulacra, 2019
38 x 38 x 7.5 cm


Sylvie Guyomard, Desert Signe XIX (SG199), Sculpture

Sylvie Guyomard

Desert Signe XIX (SG199), 2021
52 x 42.5 x 3 cm


Stratos, Les volutes, Sculpture


Les volutes, 2020
130 x 54 x 3 cm


Balthazar Ausset, Série Impression rétinienne - Écailles, Sculpture

Balthazar Ausset

Série Impression rétinienne - Écailles, 2021
90 x 85 x 1 cm


Jihyung Nam, Dancing petals, Sculpture

Jihyung Nam

Dancing petals, 2020
50 x 35 x 25 cm


Harold Ambellan, Mémoire Brisée / Broken Memories, Sculpture

Harold Ambellan

Mémoire Brisée / Broken Memories, 2000
13.5 x 19 x 0.75 cm


Antonio Nocera, Clio, Sculpture

Antonio Nocera

Clio, 2015
67 x 45 x 45 cm


Sculptures Fibre, Oscar White, Sculpture

Sculptures Fibre

Oscar White, 2021
13 x 9 x 9 cm


Blaise Simon Balazs, 1985 Sculpture Cubintra, Sculpture

Blaise Simon Balazs

1985 Sculpture Cubintra, 1985
40 x 40 x 1 cm


Yiyan Zhou, Femme Musclée, Sculpture

Yiyan Zhou

Femme Musclée, 2017
16 x 12 x 9.5 cm


Anastasiya Protsenko, The Sun, Sculpture

Anastasiya Protsenko

The Sun, 2019
36.5 x 63 x 7 cm


François Bagioli, Ivraie 9, Sculpture

François Bagioli

Ivraie 9, 2014
54 x 20 x 13 cm


Daniéla Schlagenhauf, Boule Tocade Dada, Sculpture

Daniéla Schlagenhauf

Boule Tocade Dada, 2014
50 x 50 x 50 cm


Octavio Herrera, Relief ligne descriptive bleu blanc, Sculpture

Octavio Herrera

Relief ligne descriptive bleu blanc, 2012
32 x 28 x 7.3 cm


Jean Ribera, Femme tronc, Sculpture

Jean Ribera

Femme tronc, 2019
33 x 8 x 6 cm


Didier Ferré, Diane, Sculpture

Didier Ferré

Diane, 2019
36 x 18 x 9 cm


Jim Budish, Chauncy, Sculpture

Jim Budish

Chauncy, 2021
167.6 x 5.1 x 5.1 cm


Christine Joy, Little Star, Sculpture

Christine Joy

Little Star, 2019
25.4 x 20.3 x 15.2 cm


Our recommendations Radu Comsa, Passage introductif (Après le Disco), Sculpture

Radu Comsa

Passage introductif (Après le Disco), 2017
245 x 180 x 1 cm


Simone Pheulpin, Ondes, Sculpture

Simone Pheulpin

Ondes, 2016
66 x 125.7 x 5.1 cm


Janet Sherman, Seven Sevens, Sculpture

Janet Sherman

Seven Sevens, 2016
233.7 x 58.4 x 5.1 cm


Chad Holliday, 'Balanced Oblique' Abstract Glass Sculpture, Sculpture

Chad Holliday

'Balanced Oblique' Abstract Glass Sculpture, 2019
40.6 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm


Byung Kyu Kim, Play-Her, Sculpture

Byung Kyu Kim

Play-Her, 2015
47 x 20 x 12 cm


Cécile de Kock, La mère et l'enfant, Sculpture

Cécile de Kock

La mère et l'enfant, 2017
154 x 14 x 14 cm


Lauren Kaplan, ZigZag Towers, Sculpture

Lauren Kaplan

ZigZag Towers, 2019
57 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm


Robert Bigelow, Sculpture No.4, Sculpture

Robert Bigelow

Sculpture No.4, 2018
40 x 40 x 23 cm


Virginia Benedicto, Ariane, Sculpture

Virginia Benedicto

Ariane, 2021
40 x 40 x 40 cm


Our recommendations Jesus Campos, Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, Sculpture

Jesus Campos

Les espaces de Penseur de Rodin, 2004
30 x 14 x 15 cm


Our recommendations Jan Kaláb, Honour to Brancusi, Sculpture

Jan Kaláb

Honour to Brancusi, 2019
300 x 120 x 120 cm


Nathanael Koffi, « 3 », Sculpture

Nathanael Koffi

« 3 », 2021
22 x 11.5 x 5 cm


60 Artworks on 3586

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