Old craftsmanship's transition to modernity
Over the course of many centuries, art was considered a trade. Especially during the Middle Ages, the artist produced his works as ordered in a workshop and delivered them after their completion. The craftsmanship of being an artist had to be thoroughly learned just like any other trade. Part of this education was also the production of colours and materials. The painting of portraits was the most common way for an artist to earn a living. If he did a good job, he got more and more assignments, just like it is the case for craftsmen today. Later on, dukes employed artists as servants who were tasked with the decoration of the pompous palaces and residences. Art was created according to the wishes of the client, the church or the state.
The artists' new self-perception
During the Renaissance, the self-perception of artists began to change, as man understood himself as an autonomous being during the Enlightenment. Until the 19th century, art developed from a dependent trade to an independent movement. It freed itself from the influences of the state and the church and artists more and more began to express themselves instead of the will of the client in their works. The way was paved for the independent artist and especially towards the end of the 19th century, a lot of styles developed that are nowadays classified as Contemporary Art.
The diverse styles of Contemporary Art
Modern art has brought about numerous styles, which mirror the freedom of the artists. Modernity is as diverse as the artists who found and expressed themselves in its different styles.
Bauhaus - a combination of arts and crafts
The Bauhaus style is named after the famous modern School for Art-Design and Architecture in Weimar. Walter Gropius founded this school with the vision for a new kind of architecture that blended art and craftsmanship. Therefore, artists of several different styles assembled under this new term of Bauhaus in order to pursue a common vision. The Bauhaus School is mostly coined by two ideas. First, the erosion of the division between art and craftsmanship, and second, adhering to the motto of "Everything that functions is beautiful". The product is supposed to be efficient and useful. The aestheticism and artistic expression stem from the function of the product. Playful ornaments and romantic stylistic devices are frowned upon in the world of Bauhaus. Thus, the concealment of the everyday purpose of an object by using ornaments was immensely unfavourable. Art is supposed to be sincere and harmonious. The works of the Bauhaus style fit in with the surrounding cityscape. Part of those works were houses in different sizes, and ideally, their furniture and other furnishings are designed in the Bauhaus style as well.
Dada - where genius and madness are close to each other
In the middle of the First World War, Dadaism was created. Hugo Ball and Richard Huelsenbeck were searching for a pseudonym for a friendly artist. While doing so, they opened a dictionary and put a knife in it. The resulting word was Dada, which is the French word for a wooden horse. Instead of suggesting the name to their friend, they named the artistic style they were both creating at the time after it.
The manner of choosing this name fits the style, which gets by without any concepts, going against all existing styles at the same time. Naturally, the First World War was one of the main themes of Dada. War is rejected and described as pointless. The protest against society is an integral part of Dadaism, as is provocation. Contemporary sculptures and statuary art in the manner of Dadaism mostly consist of ordinary objects or deliberately chosen mass products from industrial production. Those objects, which no-one else would perceive as works of art, are put on a pedestal and adorned with a signature. Thus, old pieces of furniture, iron parts or used tableware are transformed into exhibition pieces. This way, the artists call attention to the fact that art is in the eye of the beholder.
Expressionism - the subjective experience
Expressionism has been viewed as the artistic style that started the epoch of Modernity, as it significantly broke with the previous trends in the world of art. Things like perspective and realism receded into the background and made room for depictions of the subjective experience in the way of an intensified expression. This led to the creation of abstract art in particular. Some of the most famous works are made by Paul Gaugin or Edward Munch as well as the art collectives "The Blue Rider" or "The Bridge" which implemented this style in their art. Another art form that was founded during this epoch was that of the Art Brut (French for Outsider Art), which was art created by laymen, by people with mental disabilities or by children. The New Objectivity, as a neo-expressionist pathos, is known for its realistic depictions and is characterised by the works of Otto Dix or Christian Schad. Another form of Expressionism was Tachism (from the French word for colour stain), which is assigned to the field of abstract art. Paintings in this style are characterised by the unconscious application of one's spontaneous emotions with the help of colour on a canvas.
Futurism - velocity and dynamics
Futurism as an avant-garde artistic movement has its roots in Italy, where it revolutionised the Italian art scene. Other European countries were influenced by Futurism as well. The artists broke away from everything that they deemed old and traditional, with the goal of creating a new and real form of art. This kind of art was supposed to meet the high standards of modern life with all its technology as well as to be rooted in real life. It was not supposed to be a mirror of the past, thus disallowing any influences from previous epochs. The beauty ideals of Futurism were velocity and dynamics, instead of shapes or colours, which depicted the technological development of the modern era. In Futurism, an abstract sculpture often consists of metal or stainless steel. The character of such a sculpture is very modern, which is why works of that style are often used as unusual decorations for one's garden.
Impressionism - the purity of perception
Impressionism was created in France during the second half of the 19th century. At the end of the century, it spread across all of Europe. The French term "impression" means effect, which is a good description of the style of Impressionism. In this style, artists observe their own awareness of their surroundings and try to portray it artistically. A part of this is the recognition that the contours of objects are created by one's mind and that one's eyes only see colours, making contours and dimensional depth mere interpretations of our brains. The impressionists wanted to capture and express this pure perception. Especially light and its effect were often depicted. This way, studies of the same motif at different times of day or in different seasons were created. Impressionism has left its mark on painting in particular.
Art Nouveau - the arts in everyday life
The art of Art Nouveau is rooted in everyday life. It is supposed to integrate itself into one's day-to-day life. Art and craftsmanship are supposed to form a unit, but in contrast to the Bauhaus style, the artisanal side should be functional and the artistic side should be expressive and aesthetic as well. This way, an aesthetic object of everyday life was created that was pleasing both during its production as well as for the consumer. Furniture design, architecture, statuary art and the creation of jewellery and sculptures are the preferred forms of expression of Art Nouveau. The artists created furniture, vases, dishes, tablets, whole façades of houses or even stucco elements and decorations for gardens in the style of Art Nouveau.
It is characterised by flowing lines that decoratively become a part in the shape of the object, floral elements, geometric shapes or the use of symbols. Most often, nature is seen as the model for the art works.
Constructivism - scientific and technical
Constructivism is characterised by controlled elements and pre-defined relations. The artists work exactly according to the pattern of their own construction, which they produced beforehand. Thus, Constructivist paintings and sculptures are well thought out and planned before their creation. The application of this method therefore requires several weeks of planning before the artist picks up a brush or a chisel. Constructivism wants to create an art style that corresponds to the scientific and technological advances of the time, enabling the people of that time to enjoy a fitting aesthetic experience. A lot of contemporary artists have been influenced by Constructivism.
Cubism - the reduction to geometric figures
Cubism reduces an object to geometrical shapes and figures, displaying it simply as spheres, cones, pyramids or similar shapes. There are two movements within Cubism: analytic and synthetic. Analytic Cubism is about splitting up all sides of an object, while in synthetic Cubism, a picture is created by producing an overview of all sides of an object. Cubism is predominantly an art style in the field of painting.
Surrealism - dream and reality
Surrealism is a very young form of art. It was created at the beginning of the 20th century, after the First World War. Surrealism combines dream and reality and finds its best expression in paintings. The motifs, as well as the shapes and colours, are clearly distinguished from one another and are very precisely reproduced. Often times, the motifs do not match, they even stand in an unnatural contrast to each other, and are often heavily distorted. The painting is supposed to be created as fast as possible, because the artist is supposed to not think about his work in the process.
Contemporary Sculptures as a recollection of traditional craftsmanship
In spite of the artists' renunciation of the classical concept of craftsmanship, art still bears some traces of a trade that has to be learned. Great works are still respected and honoured today. Skilled craftsmanship is still required, especially in the production of sculptures. Contemporary statues are probably the most immediate connection to handicraft and are therefore reminiscent of the roots of art. The creation of a sculpture or statuary art requires a lot of skill, aptitude and a well-trained eye for proportions and structures. Additionally, the artist needs to have expert knowledge about the processing of different materials. For example, in order to produce a sculpture from wood, the artist needs to know about the properties of different kinds of wood and how to handle them. When he creates a sculpture from stainless steel, he needs to know other things, such as the knowledge about its processing temperature or about using the right connections.
An overview of important artists and contemporary sculptures and statues
In our online shop you can purchase contemporary sculptures and abstract art for sale. A part of our assortment are works by contemporary artists and replicas of some great works of modern art. A sculpture or abstract figurine is not just a decoration. They can also be important and trendsetting pieces for the styles of the artists. Among others, we offer works by Auguste Rodin, Picasso and Fernando Botero. Contemporary sculptures have been created by a number of famous artists and every one of them influenced the world of art in their own way.
Statues by Auguste Rodin - a pioneer of modern sculptures
In 1887, Auguste Rodin presented his first important sculpture to the public at the Paris Salon. It was a muscular male nude with the title "The Iron Age". This sculpture was so close to reality that observers mused whether it was an art work or a piece of nature. After that, Rodin created numerous impressive works which led to him becoming some kind of hero. Rodin died in 1917, and many sculptors saw him as the new Michelangelo who renewed modern art.
Auguste Rodin's statue "The Thinker"
This sculpture is an important work of Auguste Rodin. The Thinker embodies human reason and creativity. A replica of The Thinker still adorns his grave today, while the original can be observed in the Musée Rodin in Paris. The model for this sculpture was the boxer Jean Baud who was neither an intellectual nor a thinker and only stuck out because of his perfect body. Nevertheless, he managed to get on the Swiss 50-Franc note by being Rodin's muse. This sculpture drove the artist into an existential crisis, because it was supposed to embody Dante Alighieri. For a long time, Rodin studied the ingenious creator of the Divine Comedy as well as the frontiers between heaven and hell, because The Thinker is a part of his incomplete work "Gate of Hell".
Auguste Rodin's Bronze "The Kiss"
With his statue of The Kiss, Rodin put the viewer into the position of the observer. One can see the moment of a first kiss and the pure ecstasy that is felt by the kissing partners in such a moment. The passionate embrace and the intimate kiss tempt the viewer to have a closer look. Rodin's style finds its perfect expression in this sculpture. He never produced smooth surfaces but rather left visible marks of his treatment on the material. This way, this intimate depiction obtains some sort of vibrations as the passion lets the bodies of the two lovers tremble.
Auguste Rodin's "The Crouching Woman"
The Crouching Woman is one of Auguste Rodin's more daring figurines. She is also part of the incomplete "Gate of Hell", but she has been placed in a rather hidden spot within the work. Only if one takes a closer look can this sculpture be found. The Crouching Woman depicts a woman cowering on the floor who lets her head rest on her right knee and who presses her upper body between her spread legs. She coyly looks to the side and covers her nakedness with her arms. This figurine inspired Rodin to create many more sculptures that were similar in nature but had other messages.
Pablo Picasso - a painter with an inclination towards sculptures
To this very day, paintings by Picasso achieve very large sums of money. Recently, Les femmes d'Alger was auctioned off for 180 million dollars. However, it is not as widely known that the skilled artist also created sculptures. In our online shop you can purchase contemporary art, and of course we also offer replicas of Picasso's sculptures.
For all his life, the artist preferred to keep most of his sculptures for himself in order to decorate his home. He only showed a few of them to the public. He also had his reasons for this, as his sculptures were often rather personal in nature, resulting from the stories in his life. Quite often, he formed sculptures from materials that he found on the streets or at scrap yards. He mainly found remaining furniture parts, thus most of his specimen were made of wood or metal. A special aspect of Picasso's sculptures is the fact that the artist never learned the art of sculpting. He did not know the rules and consequently created his pieces as he liked. Due to this freedom, his instinct for innovations and his seemingly unlimited creativity were able to reach their full potential. This freedom can also be observed in his sculptures.
Fernando Botero - a modern and contemporary artist
Fernando Botero is one of the most famous sculptors of Latin America. At our shop you can buy contemporary art, and we also offer some works of Botero. Botero's art is extra-ordinary because he developed his own unique style with which he portrays human beings and human life. He highlights all facets of everyday life as well as of special moments. In the process, he emphasises human proportions by exaggerating them. All of his figures are very corpulent, which gives them a special characterisation. Even dancers and toreros are portrayed as being chubby. Big people are a beauty ideal in Botero's artistic works. The big, curvy shapes increase the sensual presence of the art works and are the trademark of Botero. A sculpture by Botero strives for perfection in the sense of sensual shapes, the handling of volume and techniques. This is what makes them modern and eye-catching.
By now, his style is known around the world, which ensures a high recognition value for his works. However, he discovered his predilection for big sculptures quite late. He took up painting when he was twelve years old, taking part in a number of exhibitions. After he finished school, he earned his money as an illustrator and designer. He created numerous paintings and developed the style for which he is known today. He only discovered sculptures for himself when he was 30 years old. This could be seen as a stroke of luck, as without his art, many cities around the world would be missing several incredible works of art.
Take a look around! Your desired item will soon adorn your living room
In our online shop you will find numerous sculptures and abstract art for sale that will make an art enthusiast's heart beat faster. Our items can be sent to you without any problems via shipping, no matter their size. Of course we will also take the utmost care to ensure your bronze statues will not be damaged during their shipment. Our shipping costs are calculated according to the weight of the objects. That is why you can find an indication of the weight of every item. Within Germany, shipping an object of up to 5kg costs €6.70, while the cost for an object of up to 10kg amounts to €9.70. Everything heavier than 10kg amounts to a shipping cost of €13. Please take a look at the information on our delivery and shipping costs if you plan to have bronze statues delivered to the UK or other countries.