Sculpture has 3 dimensions height + width + depth. In computer design, the 3 dimensions are defined using x, y, and z, same as geometry.
Form is the physical manifestation of a design. Function is the purpose of the object; the object’s use.
Bas Relief: In French, it means “low raised work”. Three-dimensional forms project from a flat background of which they are a part. An good example is Griffon by Jean Francois Ortiz
Freestanding sculpture (aka artwork in the round): A sculpture that is self-supporting or is not supported by anything. It is designed to be viewed from all sides. A good example is Always Tomorrow by Morgan Robinson
Assemblage (aka Collage): The sculptor uses found objects to create an artwork. Such as works by Kirkland Smith who creates assemblage out of consumer waste.
Kinetic: Of or due to motion; a sculpture which contains moving parts powered by air, hands or motor. A good example is Anemone Kinetic by Robert Mangold.
Installation Art: an artwork or design that presents an ensemble of images and objects within a 3D environment.
Site-specific Art: Any work made for a certain place, which cannot be separated or exhibited apart from its intended environment. A good example is Conversation Piece by Juan Munoz.
Earth art (aka. Environmental Art): This diverse movement began in the early 60’s and 70’s. It shares concerns with the growing ecological movement and produces photo-documentation of often large-scale earth works such as Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson.
Performance Art: a live presentation which may combine elements from a variety of art forms, such as film, video, theatre and dance.
TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION
Modeling involves shaping soft materials (clay, wax, paper maché. Casting involves pouring liquid material (molten metal) or pressing soft material (clay) into a mould to harden. An example is Night Owls, by Pine Bell Art
Carving is removing material (chipping, filing, cutting) from a solid form. Materials: Wood, Stone, Marble. An example of this is The Embrace by W. Renday
Construction involves joining (soldering, gluing, nailing) separate pieces of one or more materials (Plywood, Metal, Plastic, Cloth, Found Objects). An example of this is Horse by Leo Sewell.
LOOKING AT SCULPTURE THROUGH THE ELEMENTS OF ART
LINE: an area whose length is considerably greater than its width. Kenneth Snelson does large scale installation pieces with metal pipes. He is an American contemporary sculpture and photographer. His sculptural works, such as ‘Forest Devil’ (1975) are composed of flexible and rigid components arranged according to the idea of ‘tensegrity’.
TEXTURE: the surface characteristics we could feel if we touched it; an object’s hardness, softness, bumpiness, smoothness, sharpness, furriness etc. Sculpture can show differences in visual texture vs natural texture vs worked texture.
Meret Oppenheim was a German born Swiss Surrealist artist and photographer. Oppenheim was a member of the Surrealist movement of the 1920s. Her sculpture ‘Object’ (1936) shows a good example of texture.
FORM: that which occupies 3D space (in contrast to the 2D element shape). With Form, one can consider interior vs exterior, primary & secondary contours, positive and negative space, static vs dynamic forms.
Henry Moore is a sculptor that carves and casts the human figure and abstract forms. He creates forms that are really organic in nature such as his Recumbent Figure (1938)
Robert Smithson was an American sculpture famous for his transformation of the natural world and use of photography to capture his time-sensitive land art such as Spiral Jetty.
James Turrell is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space.
John Chamberlain is known internationally for his long career of making vividly coloured and vibrantly dynamic sculptures using discarded automobile parts that he twisted and welded into monumental shapes. He used the early modernist techniques of collage and assemblage at a magnified scale and he emphasized the brilliant colours of automotive paint such as in his ‘Sculpture’ (1960)