Abstract Sculptors
Biographies of Plastic Artists, Non-Objective Art.
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Government of the People (1976)
By Jacques Lipchitz
Bronze sculpture.
City of Philadelphia.

GUIDE TO PLASTIC ARTS
See: Art of Sculpture.

TYPES OF SCULPTURE
Basso, Alto, Relievo works,
see: Relief Sculpture.
For freestanding works,
see: Statue.
For terminology,
see: Plastic Art.

Famous Abstract Sculptors (c.1900-2000)

Contents

3-D Abstract Art
Top 70 Abstract Sculptors

Resources

Abstract Sculpture: History
Abstract Art Movements
Abstract Paintings
How to Appreciate Sculpture
How to Appreciate Modern Sculpture

3-D Abstract Art

Three-dimensional abstract art (aka non-representational, non-figurative, or non-objective art) comes in four basic types: geometric (which relies mainly on imagery made up of circles, squares, triangles, rectangles etc.); organic (employing biomorphic or other imagery derived from nature); junk objects (comprising urban or domestic refuse); or semi-abstract (consisting of highly expressionistic, but natural images).



Miss Pogany III (1933)
By Constantin Brancusi.
National Museum of Modern Art,
Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

EVOLUTION OF SCULPTURE
For details of the origins and
development of the plastic arts
see: History of Sculpture.

Top 70 Abstract Sculptors of the 20th Century

Here is a list of the top 70 abstract sculptors, together with their key works.

Raymond Duchamp-Villon (1876-1918)
French sculptor, member of Puteaux group and the Section d'Or group of Cubist artists. Best known for his Cubist/Futurist works.
- The Large Horse (1914, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957)
Romanian abstract sculptor, active in Paris. One of the great early exponents of non-objective art. Pioneer of direct carving; emphasized 'shape'. Exhibited at the Armory Show.
- The Kiss (1907, Hamburgerkunsthalle, Hamburg)
- Golden Bird (1919, Art Institute of Chicago)
- Bird in Space (1925-31, Grey marble, Kunsthaus, Zurich)
- The Table of Silence (1937, Targu Jiu, Romania)
- The Endless Column (1938, Targu Jiu, Romania)


Modern abstract sculpture
by Japanese-American artist
Isamu Noguchi.

TYPES OF SCULPTING
For different types of 3-D
carving, see:
Stone Sculpture
Granite, limestone, sandstone
and other rock-types.
Marble Sculpture
Pentelic, Carrara, Parian marbles.
Bronze Sculpture
Lost-wax casting method,
sandcasting, centrifugal casting.
Wood Carving
Chip carving, relief carving of
softwoods and hardwoods.

MODERN PLASTIC ARTISTS
For more abstract sculptors
see: Modern Artists.

BEST SCULPTURES
For a list of the world's top 100
3-D artworks, by the best sculptors
in the history of art, see:
Greatest Sculptures Ever.

BEST SCULPTORS
For a list of the world's most
talented 3-D artists, see:
Greatest Sculptors.

Andre Derain (1880-1954)
French fauvist painter, printmaker, designer, sculptor.
- Crouching Figure (1907, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna)

Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)
Controversial American-born English sculptor, associate of Picasso and Modigliani, joined Vorticists. Also known for his sculpture of Oscar Wilde's tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery.
- The Rock Drill (1913-14, MoMA, NY)
- Elemental (1932, Private Collection)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Spanish figurative and abstract artist, founder of Cubism. Equally gifted at painting and sculpting.
- Monument to Apollinaire (1928, Musee Picasso, Paris)
- Head of a Woman (1929-30, Musee Picasso, Paris)
- Woman in Garden (1929-30, Musee Picasso, Paris)
- Bathers (1956, Private Collection)
- Woman with Outstretched Arms (1961, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916)
Leading member of the Italian Futurism movement; wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture in 1912.
- Development of a Bottle in Space (1912, MoMA, NY)
- Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913, Museum of Modern Art, NY)

Walter Gropius (1883-1969)
German architect, designer & sculptor; founder of the Bauhaus Design School.
- Monument to the Victims of the Kapp Putsch (1920, Weimar)

Anton Pevsner (1884-1962)
Russian-born French sculptor, brother of Naum Gabo, pioneer of Constructivist concrete art.
- Torso (1924-6, MoMA, NY)
- Developable Victory Column (1946, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Vladimir Tatlin (1885-1953)
Ukraine-born Russian painter, designer, sculptor; founder of Constructivism.
- Monument to the Third International (1920, Musee National d'Art Moderne)
- Letatlin (1932, Statens Konstmuseer, Stockholm)

Henri Laurens (1885-1954)
French sculptor, printmaker, designer; trained as a stonemason; friend of Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Leger and Picasso. One of the first to apply Cubist principles to sculpture.
- Construction, Small Head (1915, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)
- Fruit Dish with Grapes (1918, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Georges Vantongerloo (1886-1965)
Belgian painter, sculptor, exponent of non-figurative art; member of De Stijl and Abstraction-Creation.
- Construction of Volume Relations (1921, MoMA, NY)
- Space Construction (1935, MoMA, NY)

Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964)
Ukrainian-born Russian sculptor, studied in Paris; introduced to Cubism by Leger. Exemplified Cubism's new way of depicting three-dimensional forms.
- Woman Walking (1912, Private Collection)
- Standing Nude (1921, Private Collection)

Jean Arp (1887-1966)
German-French sculptor and painter; founder member of Abstraction-Creation, known for his signature organic abstraction, in bronze, metal and marble.
- Torso (1932, Georges Pompidou Centre)
- Human Concentration (1934, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)
- Pagoda Fruit (1949, Tate Modern)
- Shepherd of Clouds (1953, Private Collection)
- Demeter (1961, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
French experimental artist, Father of modern art, pioneer of Dada and avant-garde sculpture, notably his "ready-mades". Controversial exhibitor at the New York Armory Show.
- Bicycle Wheel (Ready-made) (1913, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)
- Bottle Rack (Ready-made) (1914, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)
- Rotative Plaques (1920, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven)

Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
American painter and sculptor; wife of Alfred Stieglitz; pioneer of abstract modernism in USA.
- Abstraction (1940, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe)
- Abstraction (1946, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe)

Vladimir Baranoff-Rossine (1888-1942)
Ukrainian-born Russian experimental painter and sculptor. Best known for his unique junk art (sculpture) in the Cubist style. Moved to Paris, 1925. Arrested by Gestapo, died in a concentration camp.
- Symphony No.1 (1913, MoMA, NY)

Johannes Itten (1888-1967)
Swiss painter, designer, Bauhaus teacher and sculptor, best known for his geometric abstraction.
- Cube Composition (1919) (destroyed)
- Tower of Fire (1919-20) (destroyed)

Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943)
Swiss designer, Dada artist, Bauhaus follower, wife of Jean Arp, one of the pioneers of concrete art.
- The Guard (1918, Museum Bellerive, Zurich)
- Cut Reliefs (1938, Kunstmuseum, Basel)

Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
Russian-born French sculptor, friend of Archipenko, Brancusi, Jacques Lipchitz and Picasso. Best known for his expressionistic style of Cubism.
- The Destroyed City (1953, Schiedamse Dijk, Rotterdam)
- Orpheus (1956, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp)

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radinski) (1890-1976)
American avant-garde painter, sculptor, designer and photographer. Founded New York's Dada movement with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia. Later joined the Surrealist movement. Best known for his photography, notably his "Rayographs".
- The Aged Emak Bakia (1924, Private Collection)

Naum Gabo (1890-1977)
Russian pioneer of 20th century kinetic sculpture, younger brother of Antoine Pevsner; one of the most influential exponents of Constructivism.
- Constructed Head No.2 (1916, Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas)
- Head No.2 (original 1916), (enlarged version 1964, Tate Collection, London)
- Head of a Woman (1917-20, MoMA, NY)
- Kinetic Construction (1919-20, Tate Collection, London)
- Linear Construction in Space, No.4 (1962, Whitney Museum of Art)

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915)
French sculptor, active in England. Married Sophie Brzeska. Member of the Vorticism movement and friend of its leader Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). Carver of simplified shapes in the manner of Brancusi. Subject of Ken Russell's film Savage Messiah (1972) - Red Stone Dancer (1914, Tate Collection, London)

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Russian sculptor, painter, industrial designer; influenced by Suprematism; leading exponent of Constructivist non-figurative sculpture. Coined the term "non-objective art".
- Spatial Construction No.12c (1920, MoMA, NY)
- Hanging Construction (1920, Oxford Museum of Modern Art)

Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973)
Lithuanian-born artist, friend of Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse; influenced also by African art; became one of the foremost Cubist sculptors. Active in Paris (1909-40), thereafter in America.
- Man With Guitar (1915, MoMA, NY)
- Half-Standing Figure (1915, Tate Collection, London)
- Bather III (1917, Barnes Foundation, Merion PA)
- Woman with Guitar (1927, Private collection)

Max Ernst (1891-76)
German-born painter, sculptor, printmaker and collage artist. Major figure in both Dada and Surrealism. Married the American millionairess art collector Peggy Guggenheim.
- Moon Asparagus (1935)

Joan Miro (1893-1983)
Long-lived Spanish Surrealist abstract painter, turned to sculpture in 1944 (in terracotta, clay, and bronze).
- Figure with Umbrella (1931)
- Object (1936)

Ben Nicholson (1894-1982)
With Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth (both known for their organic abstract sculptures) he was one of the most influential exponents of geometrical concrete art in Britain. Member of St Ives School, and editor of Circle, a collective manifesto of abstract art, published in London, 1937.
- White Relief (1935, Tate Collection, London)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946)
Leading Hungarian Constructivist painter, sculptor, designer; Bauhaus instructor.
- Light-Space Modulator (1930, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University)

Katarzyna Kobro (1898-1951)
Considered to be the most outstanding female Polish sculptor of the first half of the 20th century, she is best known for her early Cubist-style nudes and abstract kinetic forms hanging in space.
- Spatial Sculpture (1928, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Pompidou Centre)
- Spatial Composition (1929, Muzeum, Sztuki, Lodz)

Alexander Calder (1898-1976)
American pioneer of kinetic art; inventor of sculpture "mobiles" made from wire and pieces of wood. His skill was to convert arrays of ordinary materials into abstract universes.
- Aluminium Leaves, Red Post (1941, Lipman Family Foundation)
- Arc of Petals (1941, Guggenheim Museum, NY)
- Myxomatose (1953, Calder Foundation, New York)
- Man (1967, City of Montreal)
- La Grande Vitesse (1969, Vandenberg Center Plaza, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Henry Moore (1898-1986)
The greatest British sculptor of the 20th century, in bronze or stone. Best known for his biomorphic abstracts and his organic forms in reclining poses. See also: Modern British Sculpture 1930-70.
- Recumbent Figure (1938, Tate Collection, London)
- Moon Head (1964, Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds)
- Two Forms (1966, Staehein Private Collection, Zurich)
- Sheep Piece (1971-2, Wakefield Sculpture Park)

Konstantin Medunetsky (1899-1935)
Russian Constructivist artist, member of the Obmokhu group (Society of Young Artists), pupils of Tatlin and Rodchenko at the Vkhutemas Higher Technical-Artistic School in Moscow. Had his work illustrated in Circle - the 1937 collective manifesto of abstract art, published in London.
- Construction No.557 (1919)

Louise Nevelson (1899-1988)
Russian-born American sculptor, famous for her abstract painted wooden assemblage art.
- Dawn's Wedding Chapel (1959, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York)
- Mirror Image 1 (1969, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
- Reflected Shadow (1985, Private Collection)

Alberto Giacometti (1901-66)
Swiss sculptor noted for his "existentialist" figurative and semi-abstract art, as well as his avant-garde Surrealist abstract sculpture.
- Woman with her Throat Cut (La Femme Egorgee) (1932, Private Collection)
- Suspended Ball (1930-1, Kunstmuseum, Basel)
- The Cage (1932, National Museum, Stockholm)

Jean Dubuffet (1901-85)
Avant-garde French naif artist, collector of Art Brut (Outsider Art), known for his sculptures constructed from junk materials.

Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)
Highly influential British sculptor noted for her organic abstracts. With Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson, the most important figure in the development of 20th century British abstract sculpture.
- Mother and Child (1934, Tate Collection, London)
- Three Forms (1935, Tate Collection, London)
- Hollow Form with White Interior (1963, Gimpel Fils, London)
- Figure Walnut (1964, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence)

Barnett Newman (1905-70)
One of the great American abstract painters, best known for his Colour Field Painting, he also created this sculptural masterpiece.
- Broken Obelisk (1963-9, MoMA, NY)

Burgoyne Diller (1906-65)
New York abstract painter/sculptor. Absorbed Cubism before settling on the Neo-Plasticism and De Stijl style of geometric abstraction. Greatly undervalued until shortly before his death, he was eventually judged to be one of the great abstract sculptors of the mid-20th century. See also: American Sculptors.
- Second Theme (1949, Metropolitan Museum of Art)

David Smith (1906-1965)
Arguably the most original American sculptor of the pre-war generation, best known for his abstract sculptures ("3-D metal calligraphy") made from a variety of metals and junk materials.
- Hudson River Landscape (1951, Whitney Museum of American Art)
- Australia (1951, MoMA, NY)
- Primo Piano II (1962, Tuilerie Gardens, Paris)
- Cubi XXVII (1965, Private Collection)

Charles Biederman (1906-2004)
American artist, best known for his coloured geometric relief sculptures, which he called 'structurist'.
- Structurist Relief, Red Wing No.20 (1954-65, Tate Collection, London)
- Work # 4 (1937, Collection of J.Donald Nichols)

Max Bill (1908-94)
Swiss ex-Bauhaus architect, sculptor and designer. Follower of De Stijl and Abstract-Creation group.
- Endless Ribbon (1935-53)

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)
Long-lived American abstract sculptor, best known for her 'spider' structures.
- Spring (1946-8, Private Collection)
- Quarantania (1947-53, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
- Sleeping Figure (1950, MoMA, NY)
- Here I Am, Here I Stay (1990, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne.

 

Tony Smith (1912-1980)
American architect and sculptor; a former architectural apprentice to the great Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959); Associated with abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Rothko and Clyfford Still. Only began exhibiting from 1964. Devoted to non-figurative art, he is known for large-scale geometric sculptures.
- The Snake is Out (1962, Private Collection)
- Die (1962, MoMA, NY)

Alexandra Wejchert (1921-1995)
Polish-born Irish artist, noted for her large free flowing stainless steel abstract public sculptures, including 'Freedom' (Bank of Ireland, Computer Center Dublin), and 'Phoenix' (University of Limerick).

Cesar Baldaccini (1921-98)
French-Italian experimental artist, best known for his junk sculptures made from scrap material (eg. crushed cars). A leading member of the French art movement Nouveau Realisme (1960-70), he also had a more serious, even lyrical side. [Two other members of the movement included Arman (1928-2005) and Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002), although they are not noted for their non-objective art.]
- Divided Head (1963, Fiorini, London)
- Expansion No.14 (1970, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Pol Bury (1922-2005)
Influenced by Surrealism, especially by Rene Magritte and Yves Tanguy. Became one of the most important twentieth-century exponents of kinetic or moving sculpture.
- Relief Mobile 5 (1954, Musee d'Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne)
- Sphere on a Cylinder (1969, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek)

Jesus Rafael Soto (b.1923)
Venezuelan sculptor, kinetic artist, active in Paris. His "Vibration Structures" in 1958 helped to establish his international reputation.
- Untitled (1960, Museum of Modern Art, New York)
- Horizontal Movement (1963, Tate Collection, London)

Ellsworth Kelly (b.1923)
American painter, sculptor and printmaker; switched to abstract art in the late 1940s, due to his fascination with stained glass windows. Influenced by Constructivism, he adjusted to abstract expressionism and shaped canvas. His sculpture mirrors his painted forms.
- Sculpture For a Large Wall (1956-7, MoMA, NY)

Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005)
British sculptor, one of the founders of British Pop-Art. Best known for his large scale abstracts.
- Japanese War God (1958, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY)
- The Bishop of Kuban (1962, Private Collection)
- The City of the Circle and the Square (1966, Tate Collection, London)

Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013)
One of the most influential and innovative abstract sculptors in post-war British art.
- Midday (1960, MoMA, NY)
- Early One Morning (1962, Tate Collection, London)
- Rape of the Sabines (1985-6, Metropolitan Life Building, Seattle)

Peter Voulkos (b.1924)
Abstract expressionist artist who applied action-painting techniques to the art of sculpture.
- Big Missoula (1995, Los Angles County Museum of Art)

Eduardo Chillida (1925-2002)
Noted for his wrought-iron linear works and monumental public sculptures.
- Wind Comb (1977, Bay of San Sebastian, Spain)
- Berlin (2000, Bundeskanzleramt, Berlin-Tiergarten)

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008)
American painter, sculptor, multi-media artist, pioneer of Pop-Art, renowned for his "Combines", collages and assemblages. The following combine is made from painting, cloth, metal, leather, electric fixture, cable, oil paint, and board.
- First Landing Jump (combine) (1961, Museum of Modern Art New York)

Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis) (b.1925)
Greek experimental artist, pioneer of kinetic sculpture.
- Signal: Insect Animal of Space (1956, Tate Collection, London)
- Le Grand Signal (1964, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Pompidou Centre)

Jean Tinguely (1928-91)
Swiss sculptor, kinetic artist, husband of Niki de Saint-Phalle. Tinguely was the leading exponent of self-destructing (auto-destructive) junk art.
- Metamatics No.13 (1959, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Pompidou Centre)
- Puss-in-Boots (1959, MoMA, NY)
- Homage to New York (1960, Museum of Modern Art, New York)
- Eureka (1964, Lausanne)
- Trophy of Chasse-Le-Golem (1990, Gimpel Fils, London)

Donald Judd (1928-94)
Leading figure of American minimalism, very highly rated by the legendary British collector of contemporary art, Charles Saatchi; pares his sculpture to the minimum material, shape and colour; best known for his series of 'stacks' and 'specific objects'.
- Untitled (Stack) (1967, MoMA, NY)
- Untitled (Stack) (1990, Tate Collection, London)

Sol LeWitt (1928-2007)
American abstract sculptor and conceptual artist. A leading exponent of Minimalist concrete art, he is best known for his geometrical skeletal structures.
- Serial Project I (ABCD) (1966, MoMA, NY)
- Open Geometric Structure IV (1990) Painted wood, Lisson Gallery, London.

Edward Delaney (1930-2009)
Irish semi-abstract sculptor, after Alberto Giacometti, best known for his bronze King & Queen sold at auction in 2009 for €190,000, a world record for Irish sculpture.

Magdalena Abakanowicz (b.1930)
Works in the Brancusi tradition; uses sculpture to promote spiritual contemplation.
- Catharsis (1985, Giulano Gori Collection, Celle, Italy)

Robert Morris (b.1931)
American painter, sculptor, performance artist and art theorist. Became a leading exemplar of Minimalism, and abstract experimental sculpture.
- Untitled (Felt Tangle) (1967, Kunsthalle, Hamburg)
- Untitled (Mirrored Boxes) (1965-71, Tate Collection, London)
- Untitled (Fibre-glass) (1967-78, Tate, London)
- Untitled (1969, MoMA, NY)

Dan Flavin (1933-96)
American postmodernist creator of sculptures made from fluorescent lights.
- Monument For Vladimir Tatlin (1975, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris)

Mark Di Suvero (b.1933)
American sculptor, a leading exponent of public large scale iron/steel sculptures.
- Storm Angel (1973-4, Chalon-sur-Saone)

Walter de Maria (b.1935)
American minimalist sculptor noted for his simple geometric compositions made out of industrial materials like stainless steel.
- Cage II (1965, MoMA, New York)

Carl Andre (b.1935)
Minimalist American sculptor best known for his geometric concrete art. See also: 20th Century Sculptors.
- Equivalent 1 (1966-9, Kunstmuseum, Basel)
- Lead Square (1969, MoMA, NY)
- Zinc Magnesium Plain (1969, Baltimore Museum of Art)
- Tomb of the Golden Engenderers (1976, Private Collection)

Eva Hesse (1936-70)
German-American painter and sculptor, a pupil at Yale under Josef Albers. Achieved rapid recognition as an exponent of Eccentric Abstraction.
- Repetition Nineteen III (1968, MoMA, New York)

Allen Jones (b.1937)
English pop artist, noted for his suggestive sculptures.
- Dancers (1987, Cottons Atrium, London Bridge City, London)

Richard Serra (b.1939)
American postmodernist artist, former pupil of ex-Bauhaus teacher Joseph Albers. World famous for his monumental public works constructed from Cor-Ten steel and other industrial materials. - Tilted Arc (1981, Federal Office Plaza, New York) - The Matter of Time (2004, Guggenheim Bilbao).

Jonathan Borofsky (b.1943)
American contemporary artist, noted for his monumental sculptures and New Image Painting.
- Hammering Men (1984, Moderna Museet, Stockholm)
- Walking Man (1994-5, Paula Cooper Gallery, NY)

Anish Kapoor (b.1954)
India-born British abstract sculptor, winner of the Turner Prize, famous for his monumental works in rough hewn stone, cast metal and stainless steel.
- Cloud Gate (2004, Millennium Park, Chicago)
- Marsyas (2002, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London)

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