5 Twentieth Century Sculptors Who Feel Very Current
The free-form jewelry that art history major Allison Asis creates for her line Cadette draws on a whole slew of inspirations—but the most easily traceable is sculpture, especially that of modernist masters. Yah, you might know their names, but Allison’s here to do a little educating.
“He is a German-French artist and sculptor and is really known for his biomorphic style of making sculptures. The interesting thing about him is that he left all of his sculptures up to chance—he would make a shape and then try to name it and try and identify what it may be or could be after the fact. There are many of his pieces that inspire me, but the one I really love by him is called Torse, which is essentially a torso he made in 1931. It is very beautiful and made to look really stripped down.”
“He’s a Japanese-American sculptor and landscape architect. What I really admire about him is that he believed in making sculpture a part of everyday life. I personally really love the work he placed in playgrounds and gardens—one of my favorite pieces of his is called Slide Mantra. It looks like a stunning, massive sculpture, but then you see children going down it and interacting with the art. I relate to that in a lot of ways because my hope is to create wearable art that becomes a part of your everyday life.”
“Isamu Noguchi was actually his assistant in the late sixties, so there’s a lot of similarities in their work. Brâncuși did a lot of abstract work, and my favorite is called Bird in Space. It looks like a very long and narrow bird that’s been stripped of any unnecessary details, so you can barely see the wings and beak. It’s really about simplifying the bird and focusing on the motion and the curve of it and giving the viewer the chance to interpret it however they like.”
“She’s an English sculptor and artist who worked for many decades, so her work really evolved over time. I’m drawn to this quote of hers: “I'm sick of sculptures in galleries and photos with flat backgrounds...no sculpture really lives until it goes back to the landscape, the trees, air, and clouds." She really preferred working outside to ensure that when installed outdoors, her sculptures would respond to the light in precisely the way she intended. A lot of her works can be found in outdoor spaces and are pretty massive. The one I really love is called Figure for Landscape; it has a lot of curves, and she plays with positive and negative space. A lot of people perceive her work as very feminine, which I really love about it.”
“He’s really known as the inventor of the mobile, which is interesting because it’s so common now. But he first became known for his wire sculptures, which looked just like line drawings floating in space. Then in the thirties, he created his first mobiles, which introduced elements of movement and random chance composition into the world of sculpture. They really move and flow within a space.”