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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, Cheval Barbe 49-21, Sculpture

Philippe Buil

Cheval Barbe 49-21, 2021
33 x 27 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$1,694

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de cheval, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de cheval, 2021
34 x 16 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$728

Michel Audiard, Un ange passe, Sculpture

Michel Audiard

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

$4,391

Gomor, Money box, Sculpture

Gomor

Money box, 2020
135 x 40 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$8,531

Rémy Aillaud, Louis, Sculpture

Rémy Aillaud

Louis, 2018
110 x 60 x 47 cm
Sculpture

$18,818

Luca Izzo, Eternal Becoming, Sculpture

Luca Izzo

Eternal Becoming, 2020
30 x 25 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$5,646

Yannick Bouillault, The purple spinnaker, Sculpture

Yannick Bouillault

The purple spinnaker, 2021
18 x 14 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$753

KiKo, Fashion Hermès oil, Sculpture

KiKo

Fashion Hermès oil, 2021
60 x 38 x 38 cm
Sculpture

$1,756

M.Chat, Paris Nuage, Sculpture

M.Chat

Paris Nuage, 2019
23 x 35 x 0.5 cm
Sculpture

$753

Ivan Totev, The Caravan, Sculpture

Ivan Totev

The Caravan, 2020
28 x 36 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$4,015

Marc Sparza, Contre temps, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

Contre temps, 2020
37 x 30 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$941

Jesus Curia, Dialogo 1/2, Sculpture

Jesus Curia

Dialogo 1/2, 2016
96 x 61 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$8,155

Our recommendations Valentine Esteve, I, Modern Archive, Sculpture

Valentine Esteve

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

$753

Stratos, Les volutes, Sculpture

Stratos

Les volutes, 2020
130 x 54 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$4,767

Marc Sparza, La grande symphonie, Sculpture

Marc Sparza

La grande symphonie, 2021
84 x 44 x 9 cm
Sculpture

$941

Jihyung Nam, Dancing petals, Sculpture

Jihyung Nam

Dancing petals, 2020
50 x 35 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$1,892

Floyd Elzinga, Pine Cone 21-062, Sculpture

Floyd Elzinga

Pine Cone 21-062, 2021
50.8 x 30.5 x 5.1 cm
Sculpture

$1,400

Anastasiya Protsenko, The Sun, Sculpture

Anastasiya Protsenko

The Sun, 2019
36.5 x 63 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$1,129

François Bagioli, Ivraie 9, Sculpture

François Bagioli

Ivraie 9, 2014
54 x 20 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$1,129

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

Hervé Larrieu (Gabadiko Ahotza)

Chercheuses de lumière, 2021
92 x 22 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$2,509

Byung Kyu Kim, Play-Her, Sculpture

Byung Kyu Kim

Play-Her, 2015
47 x 20 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$3,136

C215, Kid, Sculpture

C215

Kid, 2019
67 x 27 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$4,391

Maxime Plancque, N°280, Sculpture

Maxime Plancque

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

$3,262

Vincent Duchêne, Jerrican'art Spyder, Sculpture

Vincent Duchêne

Jerrican'art Spyder, 2019
47 x 35 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,136

Arno Sebban, Famille, Sculpture

Arno Sebban

Famille, 2019
197 x 48 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$4,893

Caroline Brisset, Sax (CB49), Sculpture

Caroline Brisset

Sax (CB49), 2018
42 x 7 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$1,255

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$853

Henri  Iglésis, Petit Bonhomme Rouge, Sculpture

Henri Iglésis

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

2,500 - $ 5,000

William David, Abélia, Sculpture

William David

Abélia, 2020
72 x 40 x 35 cm
Sculpture

$1,505

Our recommendations David Moreno, Protegidos, Sculpture

David Moreno

Protegidos, 2019
200 x 80 x 48 cm
Sculpture

$8,782

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Égarement, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Égarement, 2018
47 x 20 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$3,513

Bernar Venet, Effondrement : 10 Arcs, Sculpture

Bernar Venet

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

$37,637

Bruno Ouvier, #22, Sculpture

Bruno Ouvier

#22, 2020
32 x 20 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$2,070

Hellen Halftermeyer, Videacier, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Videacier, 2020
44 x 43 x 28 cm
Sculpture

$2,384

Our recommendations Sun Hyuk Kim, From petty things, Sculpture

Sun Hyuk Kim

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

$5,646

Kevin Rouillard, Sans titre, Sculpture

Kevin Rouillard

Sans titre, 2018
60 x 60 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$5,018

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

$1,631

Michadu, Petit fou, Sculpture

Michadu

Petit fou, 2019
37 x 28 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$376

Sneak, Bucket, Sculpture

Sneak

Bucket, 2020
26 x 22 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$314

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

Gregorio Siem

Sphere Orange and Blue - Variable Code, 2019
70 x 68 x 68 cm
Sculpture

$7,402

Olivier de Sagazan, Fer et bois, Sculpture

Olivier de Sagazan

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

$4,391

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno, Alma Dura II, Sculpture

Carlos Garcia Noriega Bueno

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

$9,723

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

$1,832

Sébastien Ruiz, Femme volcan, Sculpture

Sébastien Ruiz

Femme volcan, 2016
29 x 13 x 19 cm
Sculpture

$1,631

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

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

$1,631

William Roobrouck, Subtige, Sculpture

William Roobrouck

Subtige, 2018
70 x 70 x 70 cm
Sculpture

$6,210

Shug, Shug monster, Sculpture

Shug

Shug monster, 2020
49 x 40 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$1,255

Frédéric Beaufils, Spirale bleue, Sculpture

Frédéric Beaufils

Spirale bleue, 2008
93 x 39 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$19,320

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,262

Nicolas Delage, Black monochrome, Sculpture

Nicolas Delage

Black monochrome, 2020
96 x 185 x 0.2 cm
Sculpture

$7,653

Charles Malherbe, Gaz, Sculpture

Charles Malherbe

Gaz, 2016
110 x 30 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$3,889

Stéphane Ducatteau, Tabouret Cornet, Sculpture

Stéphane Ducatteau

Tabouret Cornet, 2019
47 x 57 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$1,756

Laurelle Bessé, Jardin suspendu, Sculpture

Laurelle Bessé

Jardin suspendu, 2018
200 x 45 x 3 cm
Sculpture

$2,885

Leo Factory, RX20N, Sculpture

Leo Factory

RX20N, 2021
62 x 27 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$1,505

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

Jane Grieco

Cancale - Les laveuses d'huitres, 2020
23 x 47 x 1 cm
Sculpture

$251 $314

Guillaume Roche, Globe 30, Sculpture

Guillaume Roche

Globe 30, 2018
30 x 30 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$2,258

Paul Stein, Free Reign, Sculpture

Paul Stein

Free Reign, 2019
48 x 26 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$1,800

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

Parenteau-Denoel & Mofart'z

Malabar crushed, 2019
40 x 30 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$565

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

$1,443

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

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

Jean-François Gambino

Paradis perdu (6/8), 2019
35 x 135 x 43 cm
Sculpture

$47,673

Mohammad Ardakani, Aleph n°905, Sculpture

Mohammad Ardakani

Aleph n°905, 2017
100 x 100 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$3,136

Gil.S, Coco bel oeil, Sculpture

Gil.S

Coco bel oeil, 2020
75 x 16 x 5 cm
Sculpture

$627

60 Artworks on 1700

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