Rediscover what still life means in 21st century sculpture through our selection of still life sculpture art. You’ll be surprised to see how this genre is paradoxically more alive than ever, and never ceases to inspire our artists here at KAZoART. So let your curiosity run wild!
Still life in painting refers to the depiction of inanimate elements (objects or inanimate objects). In the realm of sculpture it’s very much the same, except that it can be abstract or figurative.
However, it is mainly figurative, mimicking or representing everyday objects. It is once again the avant-garde artists, and especially the Dadaists, who will bring this somewhat unique genre to the forefront. Specifically, they combined everyday objects to make them interact with each other.
It is what Marcel Duchamp christened the “Ready-made“ technique(Wheel of bicycle; Fountain). The initial idea the Dadaists had was to breathe new life into the world of the art by questioning its codes and principles ("what is the art?, what is considered beautiful?, etc) and not to create a visual arts language.
Nevertheless, the concept was so phenomenally successful that the artistic movements and trends that followed were largely inspired by it (Surrealism, Pop Art, etc.). Let us take for example, the still life sculptures of Roy Lichtenstein (Mirrors) and some "combine paintings" (assembly of different elements) or Martial Raysse and Robert Rauschenberg (Monogram) who put the object itself at the heart of their creations.
Finally, let us remember that the Cubists (Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque) also participated in revolutionizing the genre of still life in the world of sculpture (Pablo Picasso, Verre d'absinthe).
In Antiquity, still life sculpture was first perceived as a technique for decoration, serving to energize and embellish pottery, dishes and wall frescoes. Then, just like painting, it became a real trompe-l'oeil. Still life sculptures, just as is the case in painting, were considered a minor genre until the 19th century, and won’t know international success before until the beginning of the 20th century.
When it comes to the materials used to make a still life sculpture, there are no rules or limits. The sculptor can choose noble materials (silver, marble...) or, conversely, prefer more ordinary materials (metal, object...) that they can accumulate, aiming to get as close as possible to the subject they wish to reproduce. Everything will depend on their artistic approach.
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