Wood and Metal Abstract Sculpture through History
Abstract sculptures involve the artist exploring different materials in his
or her work. Metal, bronze, stone, or steel can be used alone or in combinations
to produce objects that are interesting to the eye. The artist can express an
idea or a mood through by exploring how textures can be used on different
scales. This form of expression can also look at how spaces can be used as part
of a piece.
The basis for modern
abstract sculptures can be found in Cubism. This way of approaching art was
invented in France by Picasso and Braque. They took various organic forms and
broke them down into geometric shapes. The first artists who created modern
the peices of art drew from Cubism as an inspiration for their pieces.
Henry Moore, an influential English sculptor, is known for creating abstract
pieces using bronze. Moore’s
abstract art sculptures are usually in the form of a human form. He
sometimes portrays a mother and child or a figure that is reclining.
The largest collection of Henry Moore’s work on display for the public can be
found at the Art
Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto. It includes a number of sculptures,
some of which have Moore’s trademark piercings or hollow spaces throughout them.
Metals are not the only material that can be used to create the sculptures.
Wood can also be fashioned to create a work of art that is pleasing to the eye.
This material is one of the oldest used to make art, since it was readily
available to Ancient Man.
For the modern artist who wants to create an abstract wood sculpture, the first
step in the process is choosing the wood for the piece. The wood should be
neither too wet, or too dry. If you choose a piece that has a lot of moisture,
it will be difficult to carve, while wood that is too dry is more likely to
splinter during the process.
The type of wood best suited to particular abstract art sculptures will depend
on whether you are planning to paint or stain it when finished. Soft woods, such
as butternut or bass wood, are a good choice when the finished piece is a small
Sculptures made from this type of wood are usually painted, since the wood
is difficult to stain. Some
artists want the
natural grain of the wood to show through in their art and choose to work with
cherry, mahogany or walnut because of their interesting patterns.
Artists who work in this medium may carve the wood with the grain, across it, or
parallel to it, depending on the effect they want to achieve. Going against the
grain of the wood can cause it to tear. Small wood carving tools make working in
tight places and adding detail easier for the artist. He or she may use a chain
saw to remove large pieces of wood beforehand. Once the abstract wood sculpture
is carved, the final steps are to sand and finish the piece.