Abstract Sculptures

From the beginning of the 20th century, avant-garde artists began to show abstract forms and expressive structures in their works rather than their view of the world. The first abstract sculptures were presented around the 1920s, and today abstraction is one of the most important forms of expression in contemporary sculpture.


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Abstract Sculpture

Abstraction - New Approaches of Art

When the artists of the avant-garde presented the first abstract sculptures and paintings at the beginning of the 20th century, it marked one of the greatest, if not the greatest, upheaval in the history of art par excellence. For thousands of years, painters and sculptors had oriented their works to reality, depicting people, landscapes, or animals in a more or less lifelike manner. Abstract art broke away from this idea and freed the works from any reference to objects ("abstract-non-objective") or reduced the features of an object to an absolute minimum ("abstract-abstractive"). Abstract artists liberated themselves from reproducing objects of reality. They rather interpret the world in a completely new way, using only geometric shapes and lines or working with completely free and expressive structures. Since objects no longer appear as messages and focal points in abstract sculptures and paintings, the colours, the shaping, and the materials, as well as the artistic creative process itself, gain importance.

Abstraction in Sculpture - Forms Without Object Reference

The first significant steps towards abstraction were taken in painting at the turn of the 20th century. Abstraction did not gain a foothold in sculpture until around the 1920s. In the course of the 20th century, many stylistic variants of abstract sculpture were developed - partly alongside painting - whereby the various styles differed considerably in terms of philosophy and concept. Geometric Abstraction and Constructivism, for example, focus on shaping forms according to strict theoretical, sometimes mathematical principles. By contrast, art Informel is a movement that dissociates from any fixed forms and design principles and postulates absolute freedom in design. The works of Figurative Abstraction are not quite as radical and show a slight reference to reality. In addition, the movable sculptures of Kinetic Art, light objects, and installations as well as objects for art in buildings are often close to abstraction. When it comes to materials, there are hardly any limits for the artists. Metals such as bronze, iron and steel are just as suitable as wood, stone, marble, glass, plaster, or concrete. In current works, artificial materials such as fibreglass, Plexiglas, plastic, or polystyrene are increasingly being used. Especially for abstract sculptures, many artists work with mixed techniques that combine several different materials.

Abstract Sculpture - Challenge for Artists and Viewers

Abstraction faces the public with completely new forms and structures and challenges traditional patterns of perception. It deliberately crosses boundaries and, more than figuration invites the viewer to engage with a work. Since the possibility of orienting oneself to familiar forms is largely absent in abstract figures, associations, emotions, and thoughts make up a large part of the reception process. This makes the viewing of abstract sculptures a highly subjective and individual experience. It requires a great deal of imagination and spatial thinking for the artist to create an abstract sculpture because there is no template to follow. The three-dimensionality of the sculptures represents both a challenge and an opportunity because, in addition to the design, space, light, shadow and the perspective of the viewer come into play. This is another reason why abstract figures are so fascinating: every time you look at such work - it can be discovered anew.