The world of sculpture has undergone major transformations in today’s times. Most of the contemporary sculptors follow the anything-goes approach, which is highly liberating. Many of them use their works to address the pressing concerns of current political and social life.
The new millennium is witnessing the rise of certain artists who focus on the current issues. These issues include global conflicts, forced displacement, gender notions, and alienation. Here, we present some of the brilliant artists who are revolutionizing the world of sculpture:
1. Paige Bradley
She gained popularity owing to her sculpture titled ‘Expansion’. A work of bronze and electricity, it showcases a woman’s figure in a cross-legged position. The sculpture has light emanating from the cracks in her body. It was originally photographed against a Manhattan skyline in 2004.
She was voted into the National Sculpture Society in 2004 as a professional sculptor. Paige Bradley specializes in bronze sculptures that depict the human form in the most intriguing ways. By the time she was 30 years of age, she had a strong following that included international collectors.
2. Antony Gormley
He is a British sculptor who has been ranked among the most powerful people in British culture. Gormley’s career began in 1981 with a solo exhibition that was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Most of his works take the human body as the subject. He has even used his own body for metal castings in many of his works.
In 1994, he won the Turner Prize. Since 2003, he has also been a Royal Academician. The Royal Academy held an exhibition in 2019. During this exhibition, 13 of its main galleries were filled with his works. They included the new and remade sculptures.
3. Joana Vasconcelos
She is a Portuguese artist and sculptor, known for her monumental works created out of everyday objects. Her works mostly question the role of women in a patriarchal society. She received a Portuguese order of knighthood in 2009.
She rose to prominence with her 20-foot-high chandelier, which was exhibited in 2005 at the Venice Biennale. It was made of more than 14,000 OB Tampons. Her first solo show in the United States was her exhibition at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. It was titled ‘Valkyrie Mumbet’.
4. Jeff Koons
One of contemporary art’s most controversial figures, Jeff Koons was a former trader on Wall Street. He is also among the most expensive artists of his generation. Some of the critics consider his work as pioneering and important from an art-historical point of view.
Others simply dismiss his works saying that they are based on cynical self-merchandising. He is mostly recognized for his work that deals with popular culture. The sculptures of Jeff Koons utilize everyday objects. Some of the examples include balloon animals that have been produced in stainless steel.
5. Paul McCarthy
He is a contemporary American sculptor who resides in Los Angeles. McCarthy is well-known for his highly controversial sculptures. He unveiled his work titled ‘Tree’ in Paris in the month of October 2014. This sculpture had a height of 24 meters and resembled a large green butt plug.
It left the citizens disturbed, as they felt that a historic place had been sullied. He again displayed ‘Tree’ in 2016 at Paramount Ranch 3. It was located among the rolling hills and trees of the Santa Monica Mountains. This time, he got a positive response from the visitors.