Dating back to ancient Greek tradition, sculpture has always had an established role in the art historical canon. Once synonymous with statuary and monuments, the medium has progressed in the hands of modern and contemporary artists, and today, sculpture has become one of the most celebrated art forms. Pablo Picasso once said:
Sculpture is the art of the intelligence
Though sculptures might be overlooked by buyers in favour of paintings or installations, they can nevertheless hold an important place in celebrated collections. Today, a number of established names in the contemporary art world explore the art form – creating stand-out pieces to display in the home, as part of a varied collection. Here, we share a list of four artists to look out for:
Joseph Klibansky has exhibited internationally, from LA to Venice, creating works that explore ideas of perception, appearance, and reality. Using iconographic and pop culture vernacular, Klibansky's work questions the surface value of his subject matter, as well as exploring the bleak and melancholic, through a seemingly utopian lens. His bronze sculptures playfully explore our relationship to symbols and their associated meanings, and are created by combining technology with traditional artistic techniques. Earlier this year, our Creative Director, Jay Rutland visited Klibansky’s studio to see the incredible processes in his studio. Watch the video below:
Brian Donnelly, more popularly known as KAWS has taken the art world by storm. Having started out as a graffiti artist, he has since worked across several mediums - however, his iconic sculptures are arguably the most significant works of his career to-date. Most popular is his signature COMPANION figure, which he initially released as a toy. Following COMPANION’s success, KAWS continued to use the character in his sculptural work, which blurs the lines between consumer culture and the art world. KAWS’ monumental sculptures draw direct visual parallels with the COMPANION toys. Like their miniature counterparts, KAWS’ work takes on endearing humanoid forms that, at first glance, appear to be pleasant and charming. However, the despondent body language of KAWS’ sculptures force the viewer to see beyond the seeming innocence and seek a more complex interpretation of the work.
Having worked in special effects and prosthetics for over 25 years, Schoony’s sculptures marry pioneering techniques from the film industry with fine art. Often cast from live models, his hyper-realistic sculptures can be seen as a gritty interrogation of Western culture’s detached relationship with warfare. Themes of innocence and violence are ever-present in his works, with his most celebrated sculpture series, Boy Soldier, being a cast of a young boy dwarfed by a soldier’s helmet. The sobering juxtaposition between the child’s small and delicate frame and the over-sized helmet creates discomfort in the viewer, prompting important questions surrounding culpability in conflict.
Having been recognised with exhibitions at leading venues across the world, Jeff Koons is known for a diverse output – which places particular emphasis on sculpture. Easily identified by their highly reflective sheen, Koons turns everyday objects into high art by rendering the banal in stainless steel. From blow-up dolls to his iconic balloon dogs, Koons’ works play with the idea of visual luxury through a focus on material. The mirror-finish surfaces of his 3D works add a tactile indulgence to his sculptures, the lavishness of which is mirrored in his record-breaking auction prices.