10 Contemporary Sculptors

Tony Cragg, Points of View (2013), Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Contemporary sculpture art strikes the imagination with ingenuity and extravagance. The works of artists adorn not only museum halls and private houses, but parks and cities around the world. In this article, we will recall 10 names whose art evokes the emotions of both art lovers and casual passers-by.

Tony Cragg

Exhibition at the Buchmann Galerie, Berlin (2019)

The dynamic sculptures of contemporary sculpture artist Tony Cragg (b. 1949) are loved by both collectors and decorators. Twisted spirals made of wood, and metal, and abstract compositions made of plastic and Kevlar entered private collections from New York to Beirut. His works of contemporary sculpture art are kept by the leading art museums of the world. They stand on the squares and streets of the cities of Europe and America.

Jaume Plensa

Frieze Sculpture, Rockefeller Center, New York

“Sculptures are the best way to ask a question,” says Jaume Plensa (b. 1955). The Catalan sculptor is known for his huge letter figures, transparent mesh, and flattened heads, installed in parks and hotels around the world.

Plensa is a contemporary sculpture artist of sensations, reflections, and ideas. His artistic code is lightness, transparency in the use of heavy materials, existential motives, and the study of the relationship between man and nature.

Mark Quinn

From the Myth Venus series

Mark Quinn (b. 1964) is an integral part of the history of Young British Artists, which began with the Saatchi exhibition Sensation in 1992, where Mark Quinn managed not to get lost against the background of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and other provocateurs. His slogan is no romance.

His contemporary sculpture art is intentionally realistic, cold, deliberately made, technologically advanced, looking advantageous in the frame.

Richard Serra

Sculpture “Crossroads” (Junction), Gagosian Gallery, New York

Multi-ton, multi-meter minimalist steel installations by Richard Serra (b. 1939) are like architectural objects. In his work, there are arches, arcs, and spirals. A professional artist, a Yale graduate who trained in France and Italy, Serra first created sculptures from vulcanized rubber and neon tubes, then moved to sheet steel, spinning this brutal material with vortices and spirals.

As an experienced designer, Serra plans the set design for his viewer carefully: entrances, passages, routes, exits, vantage points, sound, and light.

Erwin Wurm

From the One Minute Sculpture series

The son of a policeman, Austrian contemporary sculpture artist, photographer, director, and author of ironic and outrageous objects Erwin Wurm (b. 1954) calls himself the founder of One Minute Sculpture, a mixed genre that combines performance and sculpture.

According to the author, he works with “boundary” states – brief moments between movement and static. Wurm is the author of flattened houses, bloated cars, and kissing sausages. Wurm deforms buildings, boats, people’s bodies – everything he touches.

Anish Kapoor

Cloud Gate (2004), Millennium Park, Chicago, USA.

Cloud Gate by British artist Anish Kapoor (b. 1954) in Chicago is one of the most recognizable art objects in the world.  The contemporary sculpture artist is known on both sides of the Atlantic, no less than Jeff Koons: his works are today in every major museum of modern art, and the prices for his individual masterpieces exceed $ 1 million.

Kapoor’s name is strongly associated with the Olympics and Versailles. For the London 2012 Olympic Games, he built the 120-meter Orbit object, the tallest sculpture in the UK, from the observation deck of which you could go down the tunnel slide.

Louise Bourgeois

Sculptures from the series Maman

“I make, I destroy, I remake” was the title of the first major exhibition of Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) at London’s Tate Modern in 2000. The contemporary sculpture art of the “great and terrible” Bourgeois is about feelings of anger, guilt, and fear.

The main themes are traumatic childhood experiences and gender issues. In her early years, Louise witnessed her father’s adultery, experienced the death of her mother, a suicide attempt, and had difficult relationships with relatives. Popularity and fame were brought to Louise by metal “spiders”, which she dedicated to her mother, “balanced, intelligent, patient, reasonable, refined, insightful, indispensable, neat and useful, like a spider.”

Alexander Calder

Crinkly avec disque rouge (1973), Stuttgart, Germany.

Chartered mechanical engineer Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was a favorite of private collectors and international corporations. He gained worldwide fame thanks to unusual kinetic sculptures. Calder invented “mobiles” (as Marcel Duchamp dubbed his sculptures) – standing, hanging, mounted on brackets or vertical stands, in the form of light plates and attached to thin metal rods. The sculptor’s most expensive mobile, the Flying Fish (1957), was auctioned off for $25.9 million.

Saul LeWitt

LongHouse Reserve Installation (1991), East Hampton, New York

The American contemporary sculpture artist Saul LeWitt (1928-2007) spoke of “economy” in art, reducing and destroying the form: “The idea becomes a machine that makes art. An idea that is best expressed in two dimensions should not be expressed in three. Ideas can be expressed in numbers, photographs, words, and anything else – as the artist pleases since the form does not matter.

He did not believe that the artist must produce his own works, the scope of his activity is only ideas. After thinking over his work, and writing instructions for it, LeWitt easily delegated its production to others.

Henry Moore

“Reclining Figure” (1951), Cambridge

The son of an English miner, Henry Moore (1898-1986), lived a long creative life, receiving an excellent education. In his life there was mobilization, poisoning in a gas attack, heroism, romance, the drama of returning from the war. He was scolded in London and idolized in Paris, where he exhibited more often than at home.

Moore’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York brought him fame as one of the best masters of the 20th century. His works of contemporary sculpture art stand at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, near the Lambert Bank in Brussels, Lincoln Center in New York, on the Martyrs’ Square in Luxembourg.


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