Understanding the Concepts of Abstract Sculpture

24 February 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Abstract sculpture is a powerful medium that communicates without words or familiar images. An abstract sculptor creates the essential concept of his or her idea with shapes, colors, textures, and movements, and without referencing other objects in the world.

Abstract sculptors work in wood, stone, metal, glass, ceramic, and many other materials. As a viewer of abstract sculpture, you can begin to understand an artist's core concept by responding directly to the essential elements of the work. Here are the elements of abstract sculptures that you can respond to:  

Shape:  Look at the basic shape of an abstract sculpture. This shape depicts the essence of the artist's idea. An abstract sculpture that consists of a monumental shape that is at rest can be about power. An abstract sculpture that consists of a light and airy shape that is extending outward and upward can be about hope and yearning.

The shape of an abstract sculpture can be simple or complex exciting or peaceful. Look at the elemental shapes of an abstract sculpture to understand the core concept of the artist. Constantin Brancusi's abstract sculpture, Bird in Space, 1923, is the essence of the shape of flight. 

Color:  All aspects of a piece of abstract sculpture contribute to its core concept. A dark-colored abstract sculpture can be powerful and monumental. A bright-colored abstract sculpture can be exciting and active. When you look at a piece of abstract sculpture, notice how its color contributes to the ideas that you get and emotions that you feel when you look at it. Alexander Calder's abstract sculpture, Flamingo, 1973, is the essence of a colorful flamingo. 

Texture:  Look at the texture that is present on the surface of a piece of abstract sculpture. If it is rough and jagged, the artist can be creating excitement, anxiety and/or distress. If it is smooth and flowing, the artist can be creating beauty and idealism. The physical textures of a piece of abstract sculpture can help you to understand the artist's core concept. Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, 2006, is the essence of smooth and flowing texture.  

Movement:  Some abstract sculptures have an unconfined movement of one shape flowing into the next shape, while others are quiet and staid. Seeing this movement allows you to understand the artist's concept and meaning of a piece of sculpture. The abstract sculptures of Robert Longhurst are the essence of movement. 

All of these elements work together to convey the sculptor's core concept. Once you have experienced a piece of abstract sculpture that communicates a powerful concept and evokes your emotions, you have found an artist that speaks to you and you have responded. To learn more about abstract sculptures and how to add them to a residential or corporate environment, contact companies like Realism in Stone Inc.