Art - Concrete
Concrete as a sculptural material.
We are used to seeing surfaces, structures, concrete constructions that would have been impossible to think of before. Information about the many possibilities of this building material is not limited to buildings. Manufacturers have promoted the development of new methods and products that have been applied by architects, designers, civil engineers and artists alike. Concrete is used in both objects and sophisticated buildings.
Although it is a modern material, it was not always ready for use, just as we could not make today’s sculpture or design objects with this material without considering the modifications in the creative process that have been experienced throughout history.
For centuries, the beauty and harmony of Greek sculpture were recognised by the West as the model to follow, using traditional materials and a demand for appropriate technique. With the 20th century it broke with previous postulates. Movements such as Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, Dadaism, Surrealism, the practice of the “collage” or “ready-made” technique transformed the development of the sculptor’s profession and provided a new language of expression.
Different techniques were developed, new technologies were incorporated, new materials appeared and a new formal concept was created, leaving aside the conventional term of sculpture. However, this break with the artistic past does not imply the total abandonment of the sculptor’s previous practices, since traditional materials and techniques are still used today, and even the latter can be applied to the new materials.
The avant-garde used all kinds of materials to carry out their works but it was not until the 1950s that concrete was integrated into architecture. Influential architects such as Le Corbusier showed us how to break down those frontiers between architecture and sculpture, using exposed concrete, experimenting with this material and opening up a way to be used in sculpture. The spectacular nature of his works, such as the Ronchamp chapel where the material gives prominence to the shape of its roof.
The artist begins to project his works thinking in an appropriate scale for the urban environment, his works will be sculptures-constructions of important dimensions and that must respond to the conditions of the place. The creation of large sculptures by applying new technologies and the development of plastic qualities contributes to the fact that many artists use concrete as a sculptural material.
Today’s sculpture, therefore, responds to a new aesthetic that also requires a new way of seeing, appreciating and developing the artist’s work. It also reaffirms its presence by abandoning its usual limits in space, to occupy it with dimensions that make it comparable to architecture.
We approach artists from all over the world who have used this malleable, durable and flexible material to create sculptural pieces.
1- Henry Moore. Mujer Reclinada. 1927.
4- Picasso. Carl Nsjar. The bust of Sylvette. 1968.
5- Luchiano Cechia. Esferas. 1980.
7- Ángel Mateos. Inversión VIII. 1990.
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