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For many years sculpture has filled many assignments in human existence. The earliest sculpture was probably built to supply magical assistance to hunters. After the beginning of civilization, statues were utilized to represent gods. Ancient kings, possibly in the hope of getting themselves immortal, had likenesses carved, and portrait sculpture appeared. The Greeks built statues that portrayed perfectly formed women and men. Early Christians ornamented churches with devils and demons, reminders of the actual presence of evil for the many churchgoers that could neither write nor read.

From its beginnings till the present, sculpture has been largely monumental. In the fifteenth century, monuments to biblical characters were built around the streets of Italian cities, and in 20th century a monument of a songwriter was built-in the heart of New york. Great fountains with sculpture inside the center are as commonplace beside modern skyscrapers as they were in the actual courts of old palaces. The ancient Sumerians celebrated military victory by building a sculpture. The participants of World War II likewise used sculpture in order to honor their troops.

Prehistoric Sculpturevenus-of-wilendorf

Sculpture may be the oldest of the actual arts. People carved before they painted or even designed dwellings. The earliest sketches were probably carved on rock or even incised (scratched) in soil. Therefore, these drawings were just as much forerunners of relief sculpture as of painting.

Only a handful of objects survive to exhibit what sculpture was like 1000s of years ago. There are, however, hundreds of recent samples of sculpture made by people residing in primitive cultures. These examples might be similar to prehistoric sculpture.

From recent primitive sculpture and with the few surviving prehistoric items, we can assess that prehistoric sculpture was never designed to be beautiful. It was always built to be used within rituals. In their continuous fight for survival, early people made sculpture to supply spiritual support.

Figures of males, women, and animals and combinations of these served to honor the unusual and sometimes scary forces of nature, which were worshiped as evil or good spirits. Oddly shaped figures should have represented prayers for strong sons, good crops, and abundant game and fish. Sculpture in the shape of masks had been worn by priests or even medicine men in dances made to drive away bad spirits or plead favors from good ones.

Sculpture in the actual Ancient World

The earliest cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China gradually developed types of writing about 3000 B. C. The people of those civilizations, like their prehistoric forefathers, also expressed seriously felt beliefs within sculpture.


Egyptian sculpture along with all Egyptian art was based on the belief in the life after death. The body of the Egyptian ruler, or pharaoh, was carefully stored, and goods were being buried with him to supply to his desires forever. The pyramids, great monumental tombs of Giza, were built for the most powerful early on rulers. The pharaoh as well as his wife were being buried in chambers cut deep within the huge blocks of stone.

Life-size and also larger statues, carved in slate, alabaster, and limestone, were as frequent and simple in shape as the tombs by themselves. Placed in the actual temples and within the burial chambers, these statues were images of rulers, the nobles, and the gods worshiped by the Egyptians. The Egyptians believed the spirit of the dead person could always come back to these images. Hundreds of scaled-down statuettes in clay surfaces or wood exhibited people engaged in all the normal activities of life: kneading bread, sailing, counting cattle. These statuettes were astonishingly lifelike. Scenes carved inside relief and painted within the tomb chambers or even on temple wall spaces described Egyptian life in all of its variety.

Egyptian sculptors constantly presented ideas obviously. The pharaoh or noble is made larger than less important people. In relief sculpture all parts of a figure is clearly revealed. An eye looking straight forward is placed contrary to the profile of the face, the upper area of the body faces front, and the legs are again in profile.

The Egyptians frequently combined features from various creatures in order to symbolize ideas. For example, the human head of the pharaoh Khafre is added to the crouching figure of the lion to form the great Sphinx. This composition suggests the mixture of human intelligence along with animal strength.

Egyptian sculptors created standing and seated figures in the round and in relief. Changes in design reveal changed conditions. The portraits of rulers of the Middle Kingdom (2134? -1778? B. C. ) lose the actual strength and vigor of those of their forefathers at Giza. The faces tend to be drawn, sad, and weary. A greater power and force returns in the period of Egypt’s very best power, the New Kingdom (1567-1080 B. C. ). Colossal figures such as those of Ramses II in the entrance to his tomb at Abu-Simbel tend to be broad, powerful, and commanding. A smaller portrait of Ramses II exhibits the smooth finish, precise craftsmanship, and elegance of late New Kingdom fine art.


The “land between the rivers, ” Mesopotamia, had a a reduced amount of stable society compared to Egypt and was lacking Egypt’s vast levels of stone for monumental sculpture. Its cities were being often destroyed by floods and invading armies.

The earliest samples of sculpture in this area were formed of light materials: baked and unbaked clay surfaces, wood or mixtures of wood, shells, and gold leaf. A group of stone figures coming from Tell Asmar represents gods, priests, and worshipers in a way very different from Egyptian sculpture. These figures tend to be cone-shaped, with flaring dresses, small heads, huge, and large, beaklike noses, staring eyes.

Stone sculpture from such heavily protected city palaces as Nineveh, Nimrud, and Khorsabad uncover the aggressive, warlike character of later (10th-century {B. C.) conquerors of the region, the Assyrians. At the entrances of the palaces the Assyrians positioned huge symbols of the king’s might and majesty such as colossal guardian monsters–five-legged, winged bulls with human heads. Slabs of rock carved in relief with scenes of hunts, battles, victory banquets, and ceremonial rituals were placed across th lower walls in the palaces.

A greater lightness and brilliance is visible in a still later center of the region, Babylon. The Babylonians used extremely colorful tiles in their own reliefs.

Persian conquerors that occupied Babylon within the 6th century B. C. brought with them a tradition of fine craftsmanship. This skill persisted since they continued creating outstanding designs in bronze as well as gold. Sometimes the models are purely abstract ornamental patterns; sometimes they tend to be animal forms openly shaped into elegant figures. Relief sculpture from the great palace of Darius at Persepolis (started about 520 B. C.) retains a few Assyrian features. The figures include heads with firmly curled hair as well as beards. Flat areas bounded by sharply cut outlines contrast with highly patterned ones. The figures on this sculpture are lightly curved and spherical; draperies are fine and light.

The easy, natural movements of those figures marching in stately procession across the walls of the actual palace at Persepolis might reflect qualities of the very most original sculptors from the era (sixth century B. C.), the Greeks.

Aegean Civilizationaegean-sculpture

Just a few samples of sculpture remain from the colorful Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. Ivory and terra-cotta; small statuettes associated with snake goddesses, priestesses, and acrobats; and cups with such scenes in relief of a bull being caught within a net or harvesters returning from the fields give vibrant suggestions of Minoans in action.

Power passed from Crete towards the mainland, but only a few sculptures from such places as Tiryns or Mycenae have been found. The Lion Gate at Mycenae (around 1250 B. C.), with its 2 massive beasts protecting the entrance towards the fortified city, is an outstanding monumental sculpture from this time. The beaten-gold disguise of Agamemnon is memorable because of its suggestion of the fantastic heroes of Homeric stories. The mask was found buried along with golden cups, daggers, breastplates, and other objects within the tombs and shaft graves of Mycenae.

Greek Sculpturegreek-sculpture

Around 600 B. C., Greece developed one of several great civilizations from history of the entire world. Sculpture became probably the most important form of expression for the Greeks.

The Greek perception that “man is the measure of most things” is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in Ancient greek sculpture. The human figure was the main subject of just about all Greek art. Beginning in the actual late 7th century B. C., sculptors in Greece constantly sought better methods to represent the man figure.

The Greeks created a standing figure of the nude male, called the Kouros or Apollo. The Kouros served to depict gods as well as heroes. The Kore, or standing figure of the draped female, was more elegant and was accustomed to portray maidens as well as goddesses. The winged woman figure, or Nike, became the personification of victory.

The fact that Greek sculptors focused their energies on a limited number of problems might have helped bring about the rapid changes which occurred in Greek sculpture between the 7th century and the late 4th century B. C. The change from abstraction to naturalism, from simple figures to realistic versions, took place in those times. Later figures possess normal proportions and stand or sit down easily in flawlessly balanced poses.

Historians have adopted an unique set of terms to suggest the primary changes in the actual development of Ancient greek sculpture and of Greek art generally. The early, or Archaic, phase lasted around 150 years, from 625 to 480 B. C. A short period called Early Classical or Severe, from 480 to 450 B. C., was followed by a half century associated with Classical sculpture. Late Classical signifies Greek art created between 400 and 323 B. C., and Hellenistic art was created from 323 to 146 B. C.

The most essential function of Ancient greek sculpture was to honor gods as well as goddesses. Statues were put into temples or were carved within a temple. Greek temples were shrines designed to preserve the images of the gods. The people worshiped outside.

Greek sculpture changed with Greek civilization. Praxiteles’ Hermes is slimmer and much more elegant than the actual strong, vigorous SpearBearer, by Polykleitos. Figures by Skopas from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus are harsher and much more dramatic than the actual quiet, controlled figures by Phidias.

Hellenistic sculptors highlighted the human figure. They reflected the truly amazing changes in their world when they treated in new ways subjects traditionally used by earlier Greek sculptors. A new interest developed within the phases of existence, from childhood to extreme old age. Sculptors described their own figures in as natural and exact a way as possible. An ill aged woman hobbles painfully back from the market; a little child almost squeezes a poor goose to death.

The Greeks were defeated by the Romans, but the Hellenistic style lasted for hundreds of years. Greek sculpture survived since the Romans were significantly impressed by Ancient greek art. From the beginning of the republic, Romans imported samples of Greek art, ordered copies of famous Greek works, and commissioned Greek sculptors to complete Roman subjects.

Etruscan and Roman SculptureRoman_sculpture

Greek sculpture and Greek art had been exported to Italy long before Romans ruled the land. By the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Etruscans were firmly settled in Italy. Hundreds of objects have been and are still being found in vast Etruscan cemeteries. Some of the sculpture and many vases are Greek, while others are lively Etruscan translations of Greek forms. Many small bronze figures of farmers, warriors, or gods show the great talents of the Etruscans as metalworkers and sculptors.

Rome profited from the double artistic inheritance of Greek and Etruscan sculpture. The inventiveness of Roman sculptors added to this heritage. The most important contributions of the Roman sculptors were portraits.

The development of Roman sculpture was the reverse of that of Greek sculpture. Instead of progressing from fairly simple, abstract forms to more natural and realistic statues, Roman sculpture, once realistic, became far more simple and abstract.

Early Christian Sculpturechristian-sculpture

Early Christian sculpture resembled the art of Rome. Sarcophagi (burial chests) found in Italy are all Roman in type, although they are given a special meaning by subjects, signs, or symbols important for Christians.

Sculpture, however, was not a natural form of expression for the early Christians. This was because one of the Ten Commandments forbids the making of graven (carved) images. Many early Christians interpreted this commandment, just as the Hebrews had, to mean that it was wrong to make any images of the human figure. Eventually church authorities decided that art could serve Christianity. It was only the making of idols (false gods) that was regarded as a breach of the commandment.

In the 5th century A.D. the western half of the Roman Empire fell to invading Germanic tribes from northern and central Europe. These peoples soon became Christians and spread the religion throughout Europe. Unlike the Romans, the Germanic peoples had no tradition of human representation in art. Their art consisted mainly of complex patterns and shapes used for decoration. It influenced Christian art as much as Greco-Roman art did.

There are relatively few examples of sculpture made in the first 1,000 years of Christianity. Among these rare examples are portable altars, reliquaries (containers for the remains of Christian saints and martyrs), chalices, and other objects used in the services of Christian worship. These were shaped with great care and were often made of precious materials. Sculptors used the fragile and lovely medium of ivory in many ways. They carved it in relief for small altars or as covers for the Gospels, the Bible, or prayerbooks. Small, freestanding figures represented the Madonna and the Christ Child, angels, or Christian saints.

Romanesque Sculpturecapital-romanesque-sculptor-french

A new as well as brilliant chapter within Christian art began right after the year 1000. For the following three centuries sculptors, architects, masons, carpenters, and hundreds of other craftsmen created many of the most impressive Christian churches ever built.

These artists worked tirelessly on a bolder and also larger scale than was possible for years and years. For their ideas they looked towards the best examples of great structures that they knew-Roman buildings. The term “Romanesque” indicates the Roman qualities in the art of the actual 11th and 12th centuries. Important changes were of these later artists. German Romanesque churches are different from Italian ones, and Spanish from French ones. Ideas of carving, building, and painting circulated freely, for people often took pilgrimages to praise at sacred sites in various countries.

An early 11th hundred years example of Romanesque sculpture shows the way in which Roman ideas were being translated. The bronze doors from the Cathedral of Hildesheim have ten panels with scenes from the Bible. The placing, purpose, and arrangement of those large doors obviously recall the 5th-century gates of Santa Sabina from Rome. But the details are very different. Small figures twist and turn openly. Their heads as well as hands are enlarged and jump out from the surface of the relief.

Gothic SculptureFrance_Strasbourg_Magi

Sculpture after the actual 12th century gradually changed from clear, concentrated abstractions of Romanesque art into a more natural as well as lifelike appearance. Human figures found in natural ratios were carved inside high relief on church columns and also portals.

As Gothic sculptors grew to become more skilled, they also obtained greater freedom as well as independence. Later Gothic figures are depicted a lot more realistically than those made throughout the Romanesque and previous Gothic periods. The faces from the statues have expression, and their clothes are draped in a natural way. Hundreds of carvings within the great Gothic cathedrals throughout Western Europe presented aspects of the Christian belief in terms that each Christian could comprehend.

The great era of creating drew to a close by the earlier 14th century. A series of wars and crises prevented the building of something more than small chapels and some additions to previous structures. One finds just small statuettes as well as objects, used for individual devotions, instead of the truly amazing programs of breathtaking sculpture that within the 13th century had enriched such cathedrals like those at Burgos, Wells, Rheims, Paris, Amiens, and Strasbourg.

Renaissance SculptureRenaissance+Sculpture+1498

Jutting into the Mediterranean sea, the Italian peninsula, at the crossroads of several worlds, had been the center of the Roman Empire. Rome was the middle of the western Christian world. Later, northeastern Italy–especially Venice–became the gateway towards the Near East and also the Orient. Italian artists in no way completely accepted the actual Gothic styles that dominated art within Western Europe. The reason is actually that Italian sculptors were surrounded by the remains of the Classical Age and subjected to the Eastern impact of Byzantine artwork. (The article Byzantine Art and Architecture can be found in this encyclopedia. )

As early as the 13th century the Italians planted the seeds of the new age: the Renaissance. Although the components of medieval and Byzantine art contributed quite a lot to the development of Renaissance sculpture, Italian artists were considering reviving the classical approach to art. (“Renaissance” signifies “rebirth. “)

The most considerable change in artwork that occurred within the Renaissance was the brand new emphasis on glorifying the actual human figure. No longer had been sculpture to deal only with idealized saints and angels; sculpted figures started to look more realistic.

The relief sculpture of Nicola Pisano (1220-84) forecast the revolutionary age. In the late 13th century Pisano created nude male figures on the church pulpit. (The nude figure wasn’t used in sculpture since the fall of Rome. ) Although Pisano clearly tried to replicate the heroic figures of classical artwork, he knew very little about human body structure, and his work was still proportioned just like Byzantine and middle ages sculpture.

By the earlier 15th century the actual Renaissance was well under way. The sculptor Donatello created the initial freestanding nude since classical times, a bronze physique of David. Donatello clearly understood the entire anatomy of the actual figure so well that he could present the young biblical hero with ease and confidence. By the earlier 16th century the sculptural heritage of another Florentine, the great artist and sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti, was such which his version of David is nearly superhuman in its force and power.

Donatello and his contemporaries Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) and also Jacopo della Quercia (1378? -1438) made themselves the masters of both freestanding human physique and sculpture in relief. Jacopo’s stone panels at San Petronio, Bologna, are powerful as well as emotional. Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors from the Baptistery in Florencia show his control of the science of perspective and his masterful handling of the human figure.

A host of sculptors worked with these men and, in turn, trained younger sculptors. Their individual skills varied, and these had been applied to several different sculptural problems. Christian themes remained important, but in addition, fountains, portraits, equestrian statues, tombs, and subjects from classical mythology were all designed to meet a vibrant demand. Luca della Robbia (1400? -82) among others developed a completely new medium–glazed terra-cotta. It was a well known and attractive replacement for the more costly marble.

Michelangelo unquestionably grew to become the dominant figure in 16th-century sculpture, and he is actually thought by lots of people to be the greatest single figure from the history of artwork. All his sculpture, from the early, beautifully finished Pietà towards the tragic fragment the actual Rondanini Pietà, left unfinished at his death, was made with skill and power. Michelangelo’s contemporaries and also the sculptors who lived in later years in Italy and also elsewhere developed a far more elegant, decorative style, relying on the smooth, precise finish as well as complex, elaborate designs. This style ended up being called mannerism.

Baroque SculptureBaroque sculpture

Sculptors in the actual 17th century continued to cope with the same wide selection of sculptural problems as their Renaissance predecessors, using the man figure as a type of expression. They reacted, however, against the mannerism of late 16th century sculptors. They worked instead to get a return to the strength of Michelangelo and also the energy and agility of 15th-century sculpture.

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was, like Michelangelo, a gifted sculptor. In a lengthy and productive career, he easily grew to become the dominating figure in his own country and among the major artists in Europe throughout a brilliant, creative period. Bernini’s David unveils his admiration for Michelangelo and his own originality. It has the particular largeness and power of Michelangelo’s David but is a lot more active and much less tragic figure. Bernini’s figures stay in dramatic poses–as though they were actors on the stage, reaching out towards the observer. As an outcome, we feel attracted toward them and also their grace.

Rococo Sculpturesculpt5_09

The basic features of 17th-century artwork were carried forward to the 18th century, however were transformed for the taste of a new generation. The term “rococo” indicates the preference for gayer, lighter, and more ornamental effects in sculpture and in all of the the arts.

Jean Baptiste Pigalle (1714-85) as well as Étienne Maurice Falconet (1716-91) show exactly the same technical dexterity like Bernini, but their figures are slight and also cheerful. The skill revealed within their delicate work, with its small, sweetly shaped figures and graceful motion, represents a marked change from the strong, religious intensity of Bernini’s work.

Statuettes and figurines of small groups were designed as pleasant and frequently witty additions to lovely rooms. The individual talents of the sculptors and their own joint efforts produced an ornamental impact. The same splendour and skill also created several superbly beautiful churches in southern Germany.

Neoclassic and Romantic Sculptureentwined01575

The pendulum of taste swung in a new direction within the late 18th century while Clodion (1738-1814) along with other rococo sculptors were still active. This direction, called neoclassic to explain the deliberate come back to classical subject matter and style, lasted in strength for almost a century. The change is visible in the work of distinguished sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). His statue of George Washington might be compared to a portrait of any Roman emperor.

The most powerful figure of neoclassical sculpture was the Italian Antonio Canova (1757-1822). Canova was a favorite of the kings and noblemen of Europe. His specialty had been the monument when a statesman or other important figure was dressed up in the robes and garlands of classical figures. Canova frankly imitated traditional sculptors. His Perseus and also the Pugilists are exhibited inside the Vatican with historical classical sculpture.

During the nineteenth century many sculptors rebelled resistant to the neoclassical tradition. They wanted their pieces of art to say something, to express a concept or an emotion. They wanted to copy nature, not the works of other sculptors. François Rude (1784-1855) was among the first to react resistant to the coldness of the actual neoclassical style.

An intensity of emotion brings to life the work of Antoine Louis Barye (1795-1875). Jaguar Devouring a Hare is definitely an exciting scene o conflict and chaotic struggle.


Although the Romantic movement was developing, many artists still preferred to work in the conventional tradition followed inside the academies. In the 1860’s a young sculptor named Auguste Rodin was turned away 3 times from the École des Beaux-Arts, the academy inside Paris. By the end of the century he was probably the most famous sculptor within France and throughout the vast majority of Europe.

Although Rodin wanted to copy nature, he used numerous new techniques. Both the hollows as well as raised portions of the surface were crucial to Rodin. He experimented with the effects of light on the surface of forms, just as the impressionists were accomplishing in painting. He carved figures in shadow or even emerging from the unfinished block. Whether he acknowledged the homely courage of the subjects in Burghers of Calais or the lovers within the Kiss-their heads enshadowed-Rodin suggested the natural, unposed moments throughout life.

20th-Century Sculptureconstantin brancusi sculpture

The 20th century was an era of experimentation using new ideas, new styles, and new resources. Studies of the particular human figure gave method to new subjects: dreams, emotions, ideas, and studies of the form and space. Plastic, chromium, and welded metal were used, as well as boxes, broken automobile components, and pieces of old furniture.

Twentieth-century sculptors owed a terrific debt to Rodin. His tremendous result and variety inspired a fresh generation of sculptors expressing new thoughts in a creative art form that had been repeating old concepts for 200 years. Although Rodin’s successors tended to go away from both his realism as well as his literary topics, his innovations had an essential influence. Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) declined Rodin’s rough surfaces. The smooth figures of Maillol’s rock and bronze works appear to rest in peaceful repose.

As artists from the Renaissance had utilized the rediscovered functions of classical Greece and Rome for inspiration, artists of the actual 20th century looked towards the simple and powerful types of the primitive African and Oceanic artwork. Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919), the German sculptor, began under the particular influence of Maillol. Later Lehmbruck altered his figures by making them unnaturally long in the way of primitive artwork. The faces of Women, by Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935), suggest the statue of ancient India. The round, solid, and massive bodies appear to symbolize the vigor of womanhood.

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), a Romanian that worked mostly inside Paris, combined Romanian folk traditions with the simplicity of African wood carving as well as Oriental sculpture. Brancusi sought complete simplicity of style and purity of meaning. This simplicity and purity can be found in such works as New-Born and Bird in Space.

Pablo Picasso, one of the best sculptors and maybe the greatest painter of the 20th century, saw another good quality in primitive artwork. In the simpleness of forms he saw that items of nature aren’t necessarily solid masses but are made of circles, squares, triangles, and cubes. This led into a style called cubism, which was put together by Picasso and Georges Braque. Picasso’s Head of the Woman (1909) is among the first cubist statues. In it Picasso divided the surface of a head into many different planes.

With Picasso along with Brancusi, Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) was probably the most influential sculptors from the 20th century. His powerful bronze forms show his comprehension of cubism and the simple strength of African art, as well as the rest of the movements in 20th-century artwork.

As World War I began, the atmosphere within Europe was stressed. Some artists mirrored the tensions from the uneasy times within a new form of art called dada–meaningless, representing nothing, and opposed to all other art. “Found objects” as well as household items, such as the sinks and hangers of Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), were exhibited as sculpture. At the very same time, a group of Italian artists known as futurists were excited by the pace of the machine age. Their sculpture revealed objects in movement. Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) was a respected futurist.

After World War I, the movement known as surrealism developed. Many artists who had previously been cubists or dadaists grew to become surrealists. The work of Jean Arp (1887-1966), with its whimsical forms that appear to float in space, belongs to this particular movement.

During the 1920’s and also 1930’s, the constructivists built rather than carved or modeled their sculptures. The beauty of pure form and also space excited these individuals. The Russian siblings Naum Gabo (1890-1977) and Antoine Pevsner (1886-1962) utilized blades of steel and plastic to attain an effect of lightness and transparency. Julio Gonzalez (1876-1942) introduced the usage of forged iron. The tremendous impact of his technique is observed particularly in the work of Picasso, a student of Gonzalez within the technique of welding.

As modern sculpture developed, it became increasingly more individualistic, although it nevertheless showed its debt towards the past. The long, thin figures of Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) appear to wander alone within a world without limitations. Alexander Calder (1898-1976) made moving sculptures known as mobiles and stationary ones called stabiles. The wire as well as metal-strip constructions produced by Richard Lippold (1915-2002) evoke feelings of delicate lightness. The steel geometric sculptures of David Smith (1906-65) possess a sense of stability and order that pleases a person’s eyes.

In the 60’s and 70’s, still more fresh styles developed. Some artists made a decision to portray subjects from the everyday world close to them-the Brillo boxes and soup containers of Andy Warhol (1928-87), the surrealist boxes of Joseph Cornell (1903-72), the plaster burgers and “soft typewriters” of Claes Oldenburg (1929-). Others combined painting, sculpture, and “found items, ” as within the work of Marisol Escobar (1930-). George Segal (1924-2000) utilized plaster casts of human figures within everyday poses. Louise Nevelson (1900-88) mixed small units of metal and solid wood (often table and chair legs, bed posts) straight into huge structures which she called “environments. ” Sculptors such as Barnett Newman (1905-70) as well as Tony Smith (1912-80) designed massive pieces which are often shown outside. Some sculpture not just moves but is actually run by computer.

One dominant figure on the globe of sculpture, Henry Moore (1898-1986), used traditional resources (wood, bronze, and stone) with exploring traditional difficulties of sculpture like the seated figure and also the reclining figure. He believed the space shapes developed by a sculpture are as crucial to its design as the solid forms, and he frequently put holes or even openings in his sculptures. Moore also contrasted light and dark by curving his bronze figures inward and to the outside.

Form and space, reality, emotion, and perfect beauty would be the interests of artists in all of the centuries. The 20th century only gave these individuals new shape.

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