Modern Sculpture

Contemporary Sculpture
A Tiferes Grade 12 Production
We know that this is sculpture...
Pleased to
meet you...
… but what about this!
So what is Sculpture?
Sculpture is a 3dimensional object
possessing height,
width and depth. It
occupies real space.
There are different types of sculpture…..
Freestanding works
can be viewed in the
round; each position
gives the viewer a
different viewpoint.
A relief…..
is attached to a flat surface and
projects outward from the
background. The viewer looks at
the relief from a straight-on
This image is of Pablo Picasso’s
Still Life, 1914 and is made up
of painted wood and upholstery
Creating a Sculpture
The process of creating a
sculpture can be different
than creating a painting
because certain materials,
such as bronze or other
metals, require a technician
to assist in casting or cutting.
This sculpture is by Henry
Looking at a sculpture
Sculpture can be examined through the elements of line,
colour, form, texture and of course, space. These plaster
forms combine a smooth surface with texture.
You can also analyze
how the elements are
organized by looking at
scale, balance, rhythm,
proportion, emphasis,
unity pattern and variety.
This image uses texture
to create contrast while
positive and negative
space are similar in
proportion to each other,
creating unity.
What are some of the factors that
can influence a sculpture?
• the artist’s background,
experience and vision
• cost and availability of
• location of sculpture
• trends and art movements
• cultural environment
• purpose of sculpture, eg.
combined with function or to
depict an event.
Spirit of Haida Gwaii, Bill Reid
Take a moment….
Brainstorm about the following and record
in your book:
Where would I like my sculpture garden to be? For example,
your backyard, in a shopping centre, inside a court at the new
school? Be as wild and creative as you’d like.
Then reflect on whether you’d like one huge sculpture, many
little ones, created by you, created by a group, etc?
Modern sculpture ...
shows a steady movement
towards abstraction. Subject
matter is less important, the
human figure abandoned.
Emphasis is placed on the art
object itself, or the idea behind
the sculpture.
Bird in Space
Constantin Brancusi’s
sculpture, 1928, polished
brass, height 53”,
demonstrates the new
abstraction. He also placed a
new emphasis on materials stone had to look like stone there would no longer be an
effort to trick the eye.
Integrity was the byword.
Here is one of Brancusi’s stone
scupltures. In describing the
evolution of his art, he said:
"One arrives at simplicity … as
one approaches the real
meaning of things." Two
simple organic shapes
predominate in his work: the
egg and the elongated cylinder.
The Sleeping Muse (1906,
Museum of Art, Bucharest),
shows a figure represented
simply as a stylized ovoid
Starting around the 1950’s,
incorporating found objects,
welding metal and
recombining what already
existed were techniques
being chosen over
traditional casting or
modeling. The assemblage,
joining together of found
objects in a single meaning
or context was especially
used by American artists in
the 50’s and 60’s.
Jean Dubuffet, French, 1901-1985
The Soul of Morvan, 1954
Grape wood and vines mounted on slag
base, with tar, rope, and metal
(46.5 x 38.9 x 32.4 cm)
What is found art?
Found art, or more commonly and less confusingly,
'Found Object' is a term used to describe art created
from common objects not normally considered to be
artistic. The idea behind found art is that the piece of
art derives its significance from the context into
which it is put. Found art blurs the traditional lines
of what art is and questions the very nature of art
Granite sculpture outside
of 2075 Bayview Ave.,
Sunnybrook Health
Centre, "L"Wing
When found objects were
taken out of their usual
context, people were
challenged to view the new
associations they would
create. lastest_installation.html
Driftwood Assemblage # 1
John Dahlsen, 2004
101cms x 194 cms 60 cms x 194 cms
Found objects (driftwood) on
Conceptual Art
During these years, conceptual art became an important
idea in the art world. It was an art form in which the idea
and the process by which it is presented take precedence
over the physical or tangible product.
Conceptual art works sometimes exist only as
descriptions of concepts or ideas. One of the reasons for
this trend was to avoid the commercialization of art. Art
was big business!
Marcel Duchamp
is famous for some of the earliest
examples of found art. For the work
Fountain,1917, he signed a urinal
with the pseudonym "R. Mutt" and
mounted it face up. Why?
Duchamp wanted to show the world
that art could take any form.
In 2004, a poll of 500 art experts declared that Duchamp’s Urinal topped the
list of the most influencial work of modern art of all time. HU??? "The
choice of Duchamp's Fountain as the most influential work of modern art
ahead of works by Picasso and Matisse comes as a bit of a shock," said art
expert Simon Wilson. "But it reflects the dynamic nature of art today and the
idea that the creative process that goes into a work of art is the most important
thing - the work itself can be made of anything and can take any form."
The 60’s was known as an
era when people questioned
traditions and values. Social
commentary was expressed
through sculpture and other
media and popular culture
became a favourite subject.
Robert Indiana, who created
this sculpture in 1976 said:
“Some people like to paint
trees. I like to paint love. I
find it more meaningful than
painting trees”.
Love history-culture/pop.htm
Apple Core
Apple Core, 1992
Claes Oldenburg,
American, born 1929
Stainless steel,
urethane foam,
resin, and urethane
Height: 3 m (9 ft 9 in)
The broadening of the definition of 3-dimensional
art then extended itself to installations, in which the
viewer could experience the work in different ways,
not by just standing in front of it.
Where Life is
Pat Badani,
Naomi London, Hope
Installation at the Koffler
Gallery, BJCC, 2005
Minyan –
Steel &
in 1995
the BJCC
Vera Frenkel
Vera Frenkel is one of
Canada's most renowned
multidisciplinary artists,
respected both internationally
and at home. Her installations,
videotapes, performances and
new media projects address
the forces at work in human
migration, the learning and
unlearning of cultural memory,
and the ever-increasing
bureaucratization of
Body Missing, 1994+
About the Nazi looting of art. The
Body Missing comprises a 6 channel
video installation and display and a web
site. It has now toured
15 cities and 10 countries.
The Gates
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Christo and
The Wall 13,000 Oil
Germany 1999
Wrapped Trees
The Fondation Beyeler,
Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland
Another movement that emerged from conceptual art was
that of earthworks or environmental art. Works were not
installed in traditional venues of galleries and museums, but
are built to be part of their surroundings.
Robert Smithson used the
earth itself to create
sculptural landscapes called
Spiral Jetty was done
through the use of heavy
equipment moving earth
around. Its form was
invented by the the moundbuilding societies of early
native American people.
Environmental Art
Do you have something to say?!?!?!
Do you want to make a statement?
Or reflect something in your life?
Or in nature?
Or interpret something in a unique way?
Closer to
The Toronto Sculpture Garden opened in 1981. It is located
at 115 King Street East and offers a variety of contemporary
sculptures through different exhibitions.
Recognize this?
The sculpture pictured to the right
is Universal Man by Gerald
Gladstone. The CN Railway
commissioned Gladstone to produce
a work of art to create a balance of
human scale to the CN Tower. The
work represents the largest bronze
male figure in Canada.
The sculpture symbolizes
earthbound human energies
reaching towards a higher universal
knowledge through
Joshua Kalfa
Male Figure Sitting on a Bench
Corten steel, 70" x 32" x 48"
Joshua Kalfa
Steel, Installed in 1992
at the BJCC, Koffler Gallery
Ron Baird
Environment Canada
Atmospheric Environment Service
Installed June 1971
Title of Work: The sculptor never gives
names to any of his works, however he
uses the following verse to describe his
sculpture (edited by teacher to avoid
references to avodah zarah):
Three dark figures making the weather
In folk, in myth, in legend
One is isolate,Two is divisive,Three is peace.
Three is Torment. Three is Potent.
Power, Power, Power. Air, Fire, Water.
Three dark figures Making the weather.
Ron Baird
Welded steel, painted. Stainless
steel cylinder etched,
8m high x 7m.
Ron Baird
Snakes & Ladders Fence
Ron Baird
Post-Modern Man,
Sellers Swing Gate
Windswept Silhouette,
Hilary Clarke Cole
A closer look at the gracefully
arching pine being bent by the wind
reveals the form of a woman,
embodying our human connection
to our wilderness heritage. The
sculpture is rooted on a platform of
Muskoka granite,and stands nine
feet tall.
-------------------------------------Location:900 Don Mills Road,
Tilley Endurables
And the critics say ...
Campsite Founding
(Brad Golden and Lynne
Eichenberg, at Simcoe Place
Park 1994) Commemorates
the contributions of John
Graves Simcoe and wife
Elizabeth to the establishment
of Upper Canada.
What critics say: Doesn't suit
the site. Should be moved
closer to the lake - and maybe
thrown in.
Another Pause…
Time to record some more ideas…
Will your work be permanent or temporary?
Will you use natural materials or man-made?
Are you inspired by anything you’ve seen in
this PowerPoint or in Toronto or in your
travels or in books or on the internet….. ?
Untitled (Mountain)
(Anish Kapoor, at
Simcoe Place Park 1995)
"Was not necessarily
created to pose any
specific question or to
seek a finite resolution to
any particular issue," is
what the city's Art Walk
brochure says - which is
where the controversy
What critics say: A brave
choice or complete waste
of money, depending on
whom you talk to.
Selections From The Synopsis Of Categories
(Micah Lexier, inside Metro Hall 1992) An ode to city employees.
What critics say: A success. Allows for contemplation and doesn't
get in the way of what you're there to do.
(Ruth Abernethy, at the south
entrance of CBC Building on
Front 1999)
Tribute to internationally
renowned pianist Glenn Gould
based on a photograph by Don
What critics say: Enough
already with the statues of
famous people sitting on
The Audience
( Michael Snow, at Skydome,
1989) Animated figures face
the city, turning the everyday
activities and lives of its
occupants into a spectacle.
What critics says. Whimsical,
oddly fascinating and a good
counterbalance to "artier"
pieces in the city's collection.
(Ted Bieler, at Front and
University, 1984)
Commissioned by Marathon
Realty to mark Toronto's
sesquicentennial and
symbolize growth of our
What critics say: A rare
example of corporate art
that actually fits into its
Gardiner East Public
Art Project
(overseen by artist
John McKinnon)
Columns of the former
Gardiner Expressway
restored to provide "a
frame for the
entranceway to the
new urban corridor."
What critics say:
Creates a surprising
sense of space in
windblown wasteland.
Innercity Gate
(Kosso Eloul, at Toronto
General Hospital's
Elizabeth Street entrance,
1978) One of many
modular pieces by Eloul
scattered across the city as
part of a study in balance.
What critics say: Way too
linear -- and way too
many of them.
Sun Life
(Sorel Etrog, at University
and King, 1984) Bronze
commissioned by Sun Life
Assurance Company and
dedicated to the city.
What critics say: Tame. A
good example of the bad
art that happens when
artists try to satisfy
corporate clients instead of
creating art for the public.
Interesting fact...
Sorel Etrog, a Jewish artist
who was born in Romania,
moved first to Israel and then
settled in Canada, designed the
statuette for the Genie awards
in 1968. He is a member of the
Order of Canada. He is also a
writer and playwright.
The Archer, Three
Way Piece No. 2
(Henry Moore, at Nathan
Phillips Square 1966)
Specially designed and
created by Moore and
purchased and erected for
the city by private
What critics say: Exquisite.
Conceived in relation to the
notion of space.
Monument to
fashion industry
(Stephen Cruise, at
Richmond and Spadina)
Nine-foot stack of
coloured buttons capped
by bronze thimble
contributions of fashion
industry workers.
What critics say: A good
argument for bringing
back wide-open
competitions for public
art projects.
Monument to Fashion
Sculptures in a
Garden Setting
No Shoes
No Shoes
(Mark Di Suvero, in
High Park, 1967) A
remnant of the
Midsummer Night's
Dream International
Sculpture Symposium
and one of two Di
Suvero "sculptures" in
High Park.
What critics say: We
don't care - it looks
like junk.
Patterns For The
"Tree Of Life"
( John McEwen, on
Park Street, 1989)
Commissioned by the
city of Toronto and
Crown Life Insurance
Inscription: "In the
faces of our children in the songs of our
What critics say: Not the most inspiring addition
to a public art collection obsessed with animals
November Pyramid
(Bernard Schottlander, in
High Park, 1967) Centrepiece
of High Park sculpture garden
and yet another commission
of the Midsummer Night's
Dream International Sculpture
What critics say: Far less than
local residents, who've
defaced the piece so often that
the city was forced to apply a
protective wax coating in
Cameo Field by Stephen Cruise
Bronze &
Wood at BJCC,
installed in
Memory Garden
Isamu Noguchi
Tengoku, 1977-78.
Interior garden for
Sogetsu Kaikan, Tokyo,
Japan. Photo: Michio
Delegates Patio, Gardens for UNESCO, 1956-58,
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.
Detail of the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden, 1960-65,
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Model for U.S. Pavilion, Expo 70, painted
plaster. Unrealized. Collection of the Isamu
Noguchi Foundation, Inc. Photo: Kevin Noble.
Garden Festival at Le Conservatoire de Chaumont
International Directory of Sculpture Gardens
Toronto Sculpture Garden
115 King Street East
Toronto Sculptures
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