The Sculpture Collector

Posts Tagged ‘novelty media’

Living Sculptures : Art Innovation or Landscape Design?

In sculpture movements, Sculpture Techniques on March 11, 2011 at 6:04 am

We’ve all seen the recent green movement rise up in popularity over the past few years. It’s affected almost every industry including the arts to a great extent. One particular movement that we’d like to tackle today is the issue of “living sculpture”. I bet you’ve seen those large gardens often spotted amidst locations of royalty or government. These are the ones laden with sculpted trees and shrubs (a good example could be the garden maze that we always see on television and movies.) These are examples of living sculptures, or so people say. Landscape architects and designers argue that this movement is merely an extension of their own profession.

grasswoman sculpture of the land art movement

As far as we know, there are a few categories that belong to the movement of living sculpture, some that intercross with landscape design as well. First off, we have Topiary art. This is a more common sight and it engulfs the examples I gave earlier. Topiary art can usually be made by creating shapes or forms from living plants. Select pruning and contour restriction training are some of the techniques of this art. Bonsai is also a product of this discipline that portrays miniature trees as artworks in landscape. Creatively cutting crop areas also qualifies as the creation of living sculpture. Turf or sod-work on the other hand, is a more recent development that has stemmed out of the Land-Art movement of sculpture. They were seen as a way for art to be a direct part of nature and landscape, and were often temporary and large-scale.

Today, there are many that can differentiate living art from landscape design, and there are also those who believe that the two are one and the same. What do you classify as living art?

The Cubi Sculpture Series by David Smith

In Sculpture Personalities, Sculpture Techniques on March 1, 2011 at 1:19 am

American sculptor David Smith created over 28 fascinating stainless steel sculptures entitled “Cubi”. These pieces, though part of a whole series, are all originally insightful on their own. Seemingly derived from cubism in painting, these notable rigid artworks are a feat of balance, proportion and artistic mastery. Unfortunately, Smith died from a car accident in 1965 after completing the 28th sculpture, there may have been more that he intended to create.

David Smith SculptureCubi VI, sculpture by David Smith (1963)

The 28th work, Cubi XXVIII was finished that year as well (1965) and was the most expensive artwork ever sold in the category of contemporary art at Sotheby’s New York auction house. The piece sold for 23.8 million dollars to billionaire art collector Eli Broad.

Cubi was an intuitive series that deeply extended the mastery of steel sculpture that Smith had already obtained during his many years at the practice. Some of his other Cubi sculptures made their way into internationally acclaimed museums as well, like Cubi VII went to the Art Institute of Chicago, and another work went to the Hirshhorm Museum. The legacy left behind by Smith casts a shadow on all other steel welding sculptors if they should hope to accomplish the greatness that he has through his monumental pieces.

Clement Meadmore, A Pioneer of Steel Abstractions

In Sculpture Personalities, Sculpture Techniques on March 1, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Meadmore was a someone who came into sculpture from a designer’s background. He had studied aeronautical engineering and industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, after which he tried his hand at creating furniture designs for over five years before creating hi first welded sculpture in the late 1950’s. Meadmore exhibited mainly around his local area and Sydney during around the same period of time. He moved to New York though some years after he had started exhibiting his sculptures.

Steel Sculpture

Curl, 1968 By Clement Meadmore

He specialized in steel structures that were larger than your average decorative art sculptures, but was able to maintain a sense of fluidity and aesthetic sensibility in most of his creations. He used steel, aluminum and bronze to fashion large outdoor pieces of minimalism and abstract expressionism. Many 0f his works revolved around the theme of music, particularly jazz since he was also an avid amateur drummer and jazz fan. Aside from his sculptures being collected privately and publicly, Meadmore was also the author of popular design books How to Make Furniture Without Tools and The Modern Chair: Classic Designs by Thonet, Breuer, Le Corbusier, Eames and Others. The designer part of him still yearned for industrial creation all through his artistic years in the business.

Meadmore’s unique style can be observed in many public locations such as the Newport Harbor Museum in Newport Beach, Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, and many others places.

Wax Sculptures : Realistic Replicas of You and Me

In Art Hotspots, Sculpture Techniques on March 1, 2011 at 12:42 am

Collecting sculptures can be a very rewarding experience, but sometimes its just as enjoyable to take a trip down to your local museum and bask in the art. For europeans, the wax museum is often a good place to observe a different sort of sculpture style.

Wax museums started with the travels and collections of Marie Tussaud, who lived in the eighteenth century, but is now the most popular name in the business of wax sculpture museums. The original Tussaud set up her first show in the 1830’s on Baker Street in London. Today, her establishments can be found all over the world, some more famous locations are the fixed ones in Dam Square – Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the one in Times Square – New York.

The Movieland Wax museum in Buena Park, California was also a big hit with the tourists that come to see these lifesize replicas of famous people and scenes in human history. Though that particular museum had to close its doors in 2005 after over forty years of service.

Wax SculptureBeatles Wax Sculpture Replicas – Photography by Lasse Havelund

The Hollywood wax museum in California is another famous location where movie actors can be seen as surprisingly accurate wax sculptures. The Musee Conti Wax Museum in Lousiana has its own Haunted Dungeon of wax cast figures sure to terrify any crowd.

These are just some of your more popularized destinations to go for wax sculptures, but the trend is pretty spread out all over the globe. It’s a change from the regular art auction or gallery exhibit, because you get to see something new. Wax sculptures are usually done in a style of realism that can be very detailed and accurate when compared to the actual model. In time, I’m not surprised if many more museums will make use of new was casting methods to display their collections in almost-real scenarios.

Sand Sculpting Festivals Around the Globe

In Art Hotspots, Sculpture Techniques on March 1, 2011 at 12:21 am

Around the world, sand festivals are growing in popularity. Sometimes called Sand Sculpture Festivals because of the main attraction involved, thousands of people gather to witness both the making of monumentally scaled sand artwork, and the exhibit of diverse compositions one would never see at a regular gallery. These festivals showcase the talent and flexibility of sculptors while testing their mastery. Working with sand as a medium is often difficult because of its grainy tendency to crumble down. During the Sand Sculpting Australia “Dinostory” Festival, sculptors were excited to sculpt their favorite prehistoric subjects out of raw beach sand. The Australian Festival is a yearly event that is held at Frankston, Victoria since 2008.

sand artwork from australia

Sand Sculpture – Photography by John O’ Neill

Other countries that encourage this type of sculptural activity include Canada (Lau Beauchamp Park and Clam Harbor in Nova Scotia), Germany (Berlin’s Sandsation Festival) and India (Goa Sand Festival) among others. Many subjects that are sculpted in sand are drawn directly from themes given during the competition, however some artits, like Patnaik in India, prefer to sculpt artwork in support for a specific cause like the tsunami strike in Puri.

The most widespread sand sculpting festival in Portugal; the International Sand Sculpture Festival was the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. It has been held in Algarve since 2003. Russia also contributes to the worldwide phenomena of sand sculpting, with its recent 2005 sand show; “Animal World” which was held at the Moscow Zoo. To much of everybody’s surprise, the venue and inspirational surroundings gave the artists exactly what they needed to put up one heck of a show. Sand sculpting around the world has been the recent dream of many artists and even some regular beach-hoppers. It’s a fun and recreational practice that encourages creativity in today’s fast-paced society.