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Monumentality and New Technologies in Sculpture


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Revision on monumetal sculpture of the 20th century, with references to Henry Moore, Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza.

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Monumentality and New Technologies in Sculpture

  1. 1. Monumentality and New Techniques in Sculpture 20th Century Revision
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Until mid 20th century a majority of the three dimensional works were mere objects. </li></ul><ul><li>The sole monuments were those commanded by the fascism, with a promotional aim. </li></ul><ul><li>The creation of big sculptures </li></ul><ul><li>began with the organization </li></ul><ul><li>of competitions to create </li></ul><ul><li>works for deter purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>A majority of the creations </li></ul><ul><li>that were done were abstract. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The projects of the Constructivism were the models of the new production, at least as a kind of monumental works. </li></ul><ul><li>This was possible thanks to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the development of techniques or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the invention of new technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Things before ephimeral or </li></ul><ul><li>temporary became now </li></ul><ul><li>monumental and long-lasting. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>A significant author at </li></ul><ul><li>these levels is Calder. </li></ul><ul><li>After receiving a first </li></ul><ul><li>public commission in </li></ul><ul><li>1952 he acquired a fame that enabled him to inscribe in space even larger and loftier designs that could be produced only by industrial methods . </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from designing mobile structures he made several big size sculptures . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Henry Moore <ul><li>The British Henry Moore encountered the possibility of projecting his imagination into public space. </li></ul><ul><li>His influences were: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>archaic art that freed him from subjection to the model from nature; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arp and Picasso steered him towards a more abstract expression that sought less to reproduce than to create organic forms justified solely by their presence and expression by their vitality the growth he discovered in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the natural elements he began to collect: bones, pebbles, tree-stumps, seashells. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The products of nature inspired his direct carving. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Henry Moore <ul><li>Other of his ways of proceeding revealed asymmetry to him as a dynamic principle. </li></ul><ul><li>He was led to experiment with the mass with a hole pierced through it, from which he would renew the relation between sculpture and surrounding space. </li></ul><ul><li>He was not unaware of the possibilities of abstraction, but most of his works preserved a biomorphic character </li></ul>
  7. 7. Henry Moore <ul><li>He achieved this osmosis between human representation and the understanding of organic forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially this can be seen in the reclining or recumbent figure, which he preferred as a subject above all others and which gave him the pretext for his most daring construction. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Henry Moore <ul><li>When Moore took the step to monumentality, he developed a landscape sculpture in an especially close relationship with nature, in that he executed each of his pieces on a particular site. </li></ul><ul><li>Large-sized works led him to prefer bronze, this is, modelling. Moore’s works offered a sensual experience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>direct, tactile, but also </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spiritual in referring to another consciousness of life and its development. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With him, representation of movement disappears in the expression of forms preserving the imprint of the demands of growth and the scars of time. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Chillida <ul><li>Other of the new possibilities of construction in space of the 20th century included assemblage and iron. </li></ul><ul><li>Antecedents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Picasso and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Julio Gonzalez. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chillida was one of the best representatives of iron sculpture. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Chillida <ul><li>Architect of formation, he did several sojourns to Paris where he entered in contact wit modern art. </li></ul><ul><li>He turned away from figurative representations and began working with iron at the mid of the century. </li></ul><ul><li>For him iron offered the approach to and confrontation of space that combines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a dynamic force in which the ductility of the material and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the strong purpose that shapes it. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Chillida <ul><li>Working in wrought, then welded iron turned him away from the concept of mass by offering him new relations between construction and space: his assemblages embarked on the conquest of the air. </li></ul><ul><li>His first works were inspired by the form or the craftsman’s and peasant’s articles of ordinary use, but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>he transported them poetically into empty space, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>attaching them by a single fixed point to the ground or the pedestal, from which they radiated in manifold directions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He defied the laws of static by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>combining space, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>clawing the wind. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Chillida <ul><li>He recognised the demands and possibilities of metal, which was </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a rendered supple and malleable by its passage through fire, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but also retained the marks of the blows that shaped it, or of the force that twisted it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This physical presence </li></ul><ul><li>of work of which the finished </li></ul><ul><li>piece kept the imprint and </li></ul><ul><li>which made it possible to </li></ul><ul><li>measure in imagination the </li></ul><ul><li>time and effect of the process </li></ul><ul><li>of elaboration would assume </li></ul><ul><li>great importance in </li></ul><ul><li>contemporary creation. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Chillida <ul><li>Working with tubes or bars, Chillida found that they divided up space: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the core of matter was replaced by emptiness; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the mass by air; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>but air was all the more meaningful in that Chillida developed his forms by following their growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Creation is a combat with and against matter, a confrontation with the elements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fire and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>water. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Chillida <ul><li>Chillida’s forms abandon verticality to develop like knotted and forceful calligraphy. </li></ul><ul><li>Refusing to let himself be guided by the technical know-how he had rapidly acquired in 1956 turned to a thicker material which he twisted or unwound, but which </li></ul><ul><li>kept in its fold the violence that </li></ul><ul><li>bent it to the sculptors will. </li></ul><ul><li>After that Chillida attempted </li></ul><ul><li>other materials such as wood, </li></ul><ul><li>which allowed him to work on a larger scale. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Chillida <ul><li>He was to carry over this experience with metal into </li></ul><ul><ul><li>alabaster and granite, compact materials which react to light, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that light which steel and later Cor-Ten steel (rusted steel) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>would led him to prefer in more serene architectural compositions where the impact of gesture vanished in the continuity of spirals, drawing the spectator inward to the hollowed-out centre of the heart. </li></ul><ul><li>These knots of metal opened onto the mystery of the infinite and the void. Chillida became a builder of the invisible. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Oteiza <ul><li>Having unsuccessfully tried to get into architecture school in Madrid, he began training in the visual arts. </li></ul><ul><li>He travelled to South America, where he was during the Civil War. </li></ul><ul><li>He came back in 1948 and </li></ul><ul><li>tried to develop a kind of </li></ul><ul><li>organisation of artists but </li></ul><ul><li>with little success. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Oteiza <ul><li>In 1950 he was commissioned to make the sculptures that would form the religious iconography of the Aranzazu’s sanctuary. </li></ul><ul><li>The project consisted of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a Piety and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the frieze of the Apostles, 14 hollowed-out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>figures, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>with a great expressive force and rhythmic arrangement, in a complex which combined architecture and the visual arts. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Oteiza <ul><li>In 1950 he began an experimental phase in his sculpture in which </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the presence of matter and mass as formal elements was reduced and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the artist sought out active empty spaces charged with energy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This desire for experimentation applied to his sculptural work. </li></ul><ul><li>He aimed at liberating empty spaces by merging double and triple low-density units, at the same time developing the progressive emptying of his figurative sculptures. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Oteiza <ul><li>He developed his idea of emptying sculpture to the point of defining emptiness as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the space of spiritual relief, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the protection of the incomplete man, convinced that all empty space aesthetically de-occupied is spiritually receptive. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He presented the de-occupation of the sphere and cube. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Oteiza <ul><li>This experimental search </li></ul><ul><li>was to culminate in his “empty </li></ul><ul><li>boxes” and “metaphysical </li></ul><ul><li>boxes”. </li></ul><ul><li>In this process he managed </li></ul><ul><li>to activate empty and receptive spaces, provided with an eternal and metaphysical essence. </li></ul><ul><li>With the completion of the Experimental Process, Oteiza considered that his sculptural experimentation had concluded. </li></ul>