Famous sculpture artists often seem to make pieces that speak to us in manners that paintings and photographs do not. Sculpture is a three dimensional art piece made from materials such as stone, metal or glass. It may be done by taking a slab of stone and carving it into the desired shape, by piecing together various objects, or welding metal. Depending on the medium used, sculpting can be physically demanding as well as mentally demanding. Famous sculpture artists are often inspiring both in their work and their life.
Born in 1898, Alexander Calder was born into an well known artist family. Both his father and grandfather were sculptors and his mother was a painter. He was encouraged artisticallyCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Calder-redmobile.jpg throughout his childhood, and settled into a life as an artist in his mid 20’s. He worked in several artistic mediums, including painting, but is best known for his “mobiles”. These were kinetic sculptures, where the sculpture moves or interacts with the viewer or wind. The term was coined by another artist, Marcel Duchamp. Alexander Calder also made over 20 large sculptures of welded sheet metal, including one for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.
Henry Spencer Moore
Born in 1898 and died in 1986, Henry Moore, and English sculptor was known for his large bronze sculptures which are distributed in public areas around the world. He wanted to be a sculptor from an early age, but his parents were not as happy with the decision. He studied and worked as a teacher after high school, and joined the army, where he was injured in a gas attack. After the war he studied art further. In 1928 he did hit first public work, a stone carving for London’s Subway system headquarters. During World War II he produced drawings of the Londoners living through the Blitz. In 1967, Henry Moore made the bronze sculpture, “Nuclear Energy”, commemorating the Manhattan Project, on the campus at the University of Chicago, site of the first nuclear reactor.
You may not think of Picasso as a sculptor, but he began making sculptors of combining different kinds of materials into one work of art. Later in his life, he made reinterpretations of art of the great masters. In 1967 his work, known as the Chicago Picasso, was unveiled. Picasso refused payment for the piece, donating it to the city. It is unknown what the Chicago Picasso represents.
Tony Smith, 1912-1980, was sick as a child with tuberculosis, and built used the boxes his medicine came in to play with. Later in life he worked for Frank Lloyd Wright, and this helped him to develop his talents. He designed and built some houses even though he was not really qualified, and even though his designs turned out okay, he was frustrated by the experience and turned more towards artistic works. He followed the minimalist school of thought, where the art is shown at its most fundamental form. He worked as a teacher and had some major insights into his artistic vision while teaching.
Born in Romania and livid in France, Constantin Brancusi lived fro 1876-1957. He was known for his carvings as a child, but suffered from his family bullying him. He ran away at the age of 18, working at several jobs. At the age of 18 he was enrolled in art school by someone impressed with his talent. He moved to Paris and after a couple of years, worked for 2 months for Auguste RodCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Romania_20060512_-_Tirgu_Jiu_-_Coloana_fara_sfarsit.jpgin, considered the founder of modern sculpture. He left Rodin, feeling that he could not find his way, working beside such a great talent. He gained notoriety when he did a piece called “Princess X”. The art work was a phallic shape, supposed to be representing Princess Marie Bonaparte, who was known for be obsessed with penises and orgasms.
Brancusi was also involved in a dispute with the United States government when he sent a piece of artwork to the United States and the customs authorities did not recognize his pieces as art and tried to value it as raw metal. The lawsuit resulted in changed in the importation laws for abstract art.
Mark di Suvero
Mark di Suvero was born in Shanghai in 1933 and moved to California in the United States in 1942. He studied philosophy then moved to New York. While working construction, he was injured in an accident, and while in rehabilitation, he learned to use an arc welder. He used wood, tires and steel for his early efforts, making large outdoor pieces. He later used I-beams and heavy metal, incorporating aspects of motion into his pieces, leaving parts of the art mobile.
Leonard Baskin lived from 1922 until 2000. He was a sculptor as well as working in print as a book illustrator, print maker, and graphic artist. He taught printmaking and sculpture at several colleges during his lifetime. The bronze sculpture pictured here is for the Holocaust Memorial in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
George E. Ohr
Born in Mississippi in 1857, he worked at various jobs before apprenticing in ceramics. He studied had his own workshop. He made over 10,000 pots, saying that no two were alike. He was good and boasted of it, which was a turn off for some people. His ceramic sculptures were abstract and had thin walls, metallic glazes, and unusual shapes. Although Ohr used a pottery wheel to make his art, today others are unable to copy them.
An American sculptor and painter, David Smith was known for his large steel geometric abstract sculptures. He left University of Notre Dame after two weeks because of the lack of art courses at the school. He studied painting with his wife in New York, but was later introduced to modern sculpture which caught his eye, and he started to make sculptures from several different materials, but settled on using metal and welding for his work. He turned out a large amount of work, some of it in a very short amount of time, and his works got larger as he grew older. His last piece, Cubi XXVIII, sold in 2005 for $23.8 million. It holds the record for the most expensive contemporary art piece sold at auction.
Many famous sculpture artists in recent times had full satisfying lives as artists, unlike stories we hear of artists from the past.