Chapter 11 Sculpture Sculptures are three-dimensional objects that take up real space and have mass. The open spaces in a sculpture create voids that are essential parts of sculpture, as the open voids are in Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure: Angles. Focusing on the swelling form of the female body and resembling a mountainous landscape, the large, abstract figural work by Moore changes as the viewer moves around the figure. Moore Reclining Figure: Angles, Bronze
<ul><li>The obvious visual element in sculpture is mass, but the elements of line, light, and color are also apparent in achieving a successful design. Lines in sculpture can help move the viewer’s eyes around the work. Lines can also be noted in drapery folds. See the sharp drapery folds of Juan Martínez Montañés, Saint John the Baptist . Light reflecting off the surface of a sculpture can reveal the sculptural material, such as the translucence of marble, the gleam of polished aluminum, or the glossy quality of bronze. </li></ul>More recently, artists have returned to color in sculpture, as Duane Hanson does in his Woman Seated.
Sculpture also employs the principles of design and balance taking on a new significance in a three-dimensional work. Richard Serra’s 120-foot long, steel, site-specific sculpture Tilted Arc appears to balance precariously in New York ’s Federal Plaza, while Edgar Degas’s Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot is balanced rather awkwardly through the natural center of gravity.
A common subject matter for sculptures throughout time has been the human figure, either in a representational manner or in a spiritual sense that the gods and goddesses of a culture embodied a human form. The figure of Buddha is made tangible in the Japanese bronze Amida Butsa, the Great Buddha , seen in a meditation pose.
Portrait busts are sculptures that depict a person’s head and shoulders; artist Gianlorenzo Bernini carved the bust of Cardinal Scipione Borghese with vibrancy and movement. Whereas portrait busts represent an actual person, a mask covers up the person, transforming the wearer into another character or spirit; for example, the Dance Mask of the Kwakiutl people of the northwest coast of British Columbia represents the spirits of birds.
Animals are represented in sculptures also, in equestrian monuments that feature a hero or heroine atop a horse, seen in the example of Monument to Peter the Great by Étienne-Maurice Falconet.
Sculpture <ul><li>Two major types of sculptures are in-the-round, which are freestanding three-dimensional works meant to be seen from all sides (like Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure: Angles), and relief sculptures, which are sculptures that project from a background and are meant to be seen from the front. </li></ul>Low relief sculpture - slight projection from the surface such as a coin “Low relief" involves shallow carving; the figures are nearly flush with the background. Desiderio da Settignano, Saint Jerome in the Desert Egyptian, Portrait of Akhenaten
Relief - a projection from a surrounding surface Mayan, relief from Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent High relief - more than half of the projection is raised from the surface “High relief" involves deep carving; the figures are raised high from the background.
c.450-440 BCE Classical Greek, Little Girl with Bird, marble Relief attached to the background; usually the back of the subject cannot be seen. c.1260-1270, diptych, Coronation of the Virgin and the last judgment, French, Ivory High relief or low relief?
Freestanding or In the Round Rodin – Burghers of Calais Freestanding or in the round – completely detached from the background; all sides of the subject can be seen.
Venus de Milo, Classical Greek Sculpture, freestanding Sculpture can come in many forms such as wood, marble, bronze, clay, plaster, ivory, stone, metals, plastic and more. Vietnam Heroes, Frederick Hart, 1984, bronze, freestanding
Traditional Materials and Techniques Traditional techniques include modeling, carving, and casting. Modeling uses pliable material such as clay or wax to form the desired shapes by hand or tool manipulation. Modeling is one of the oldest sculptural techniques, and many cultures have utilized its capabilities; one example is the Portrait Vessel , made by the Moche people in Peru over fifteen hundred years ago. Clay is often the preferred material since it is flexible and can be made more permanent by firing the material in a kiln, resulting in terra cotta or “baked earth.” Ceramic work, or any kind of kiln-fired works, can be glazed with glass-like coatings.
Building Methods and Materials <ul><li>Modeling – pliable materials such as clay, wax or plaster are built up, removed or pushed into the final form. Modeling is most often an additive process. </li></ul><ul><li>Additive – to add materials to an armature, to build up the materials (modeled, cast, welded). </li></ul><ul><li>Armature – underlying rigid inner structure </li></ul><ul><li>Media examples: marble, bronze, clay, etc. </li></ul>
Casting <ul><li>To execute a work then reproduce it in a more permanent material. Casting involves a substitution of one material for another making it a substitution process. Generally clay is used as the base then a mold is made then cast with another material usually bronze. </li></ul>Degas cast bronze Ballerina
Carving <ul><li>To take away unwanted material to form a sculpture is called a subtractive process. The most widely used carving material is marble but there are many other materials that are used such as wood, plaster, jade, basalt, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>- Void – an enclosed or defined negative space </li></ul><ul><li>- Subtraction – to take away material </li></ul>Michelangelo, 1501, David
Modern Trends in Sculpture <ul><li>Assembling materials began popular in the early 20th century and were called constructions. Some popular types of constructions are – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assemblage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kinetic Sculpture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Installations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Readymades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land Art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Art </li></ul></ul>Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1886, marble
Assemblage Louise Nevelson, Red Tide IV, 1960, wood <ul><ul><li>To construct a form by assembling or combining parts; to build. Construction is either the act of constructing or the structure resulting from it. A sculpture made by joining together various components of various materials or of the same substance. Assembling involves constructing a whole from individual parts. Both ancient and modern artists frequently utilize “found objects”. </li></ul></ul>
Kinetic Sculpture Calder – Lobster Trap and Fish Tail Sculpture that moves – Stabiles and mobiles George Rickey Top – Four Cubes Left – Gyratory 4
Mixed Media Sculptors are also blurring distinctions and boundaries of sculpture into large spaces, creating not just a mass that takes up real space but creating an entire indoor environment. Judy Pfaff in Neither Here Nor There created installation pieces so complex that they transform the whole of the interior, allowing the viewer to truly interact and become engulfed by the art. <ul><ul><li>Mixed media - to use a variety of media in a single work </li></ul></ul>Media – variety of parts and pieces such as paper, wood, plastic, etc.
Installations Made for a specific space, exploiting certain qualities of that space. Installations may be temporary or permanent. A work of art created for a specific location and designed to relate to that location. 3D use of constructing and assembling a work. Christo, The Gates, Central Park, NYC 1979 - 2005
Readymades Picasso – Bull’s Head, 1943, bicycle seat and handle bars Sculptures made with objects not made by the hand of the artist are called found object sculptures and the objects are usually added together to form an assemblage. Readymades generally incorporate everyday items in a different way than the intended use.
Land Art Site specific using earthworks At right, Ohio Serpent Mounds Bottom pictures – Andy Goldsworthy’s Earthworks
Public Art <ul><li>Sculpture can be placed outdoors allowing for the art to be exhibited in public view. Much of the public art throughout history has been to honor gods and heroes of society. Washington DC contains a wealth of public art, more specifically the monuments meant to honor fallen heroes of war, such as Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Heroes, Frederick Hart 1984 . </li></ul>