From Da Vinci's flying machines to Gaudi's catherdral buttresses based on human tendons, designers have long looked to nature for inspiration. In the 1990's, as a backlash against the genericism of Modernism and it's emphasis on clean, stark lines, a new emphasis on organic forms developed.
Geesh, I'm meant to cover "modern sculpture" in half of a one-hour lecture? Luckily we've covered some of the major turning points previously - the Cubist influence, for example on Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism; the "readymades" of Marcel Duchamp; minimalism and abstraction (which we'll be covering more next week).
I think that the best way to tackle such a broad subject in such a short time is to look at a couple of significant 20th century sculptors:
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) American-Japanese sculptor and product designer
Noguchi sought to make sculpture useful in everyday life, and his furniture
and interior designs are an important part of this project. Noguchi
most actively worked in this field during the 1940s, creating furniture
and interiors that displayed the biomorphic imagery of his contemporary
sculpture. After the Second World War Noguchi traveled to Japan, where
in 1951 he created the first paper and bamboo Akari lamps. Noguchi continued
to design new Akari models for the rest of his career."
Henry Moore (1898-1986) English Sculptor, painter
Moore was from a very working class background, with left-wing ideals and a stong work ethic. Watching a documentary on his life, I was very surprised to hear of his time as a bayonet instructor during WWI, as his work has always struck me as very gentle.
He established a
home/workshop known as Perry Green where he worked for many decades
producing some of the world's best recognised modern art sculptures.
His work ranged in it's level of abstraction, from stylised but recognisable
draped figures to the more familiar 'blobs with holes'.
Robert Klippel (1920-2001) Australian Sculptor
exactly well known for it's sculptors. Perhaps this is partly because
large scale works are difficult to transport and we're so isolated?
One Australian-born sculptor did, however, have an impact on modern
sculpture - friend and collaborator with Surrealist artist James Gleeson,
sculptor Robert Klippel had a long and illustrious career. He started
out as a figurative woodcarver, but moved on to making assemblages of
metal, wood and plastic 'found objects'.
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