Top sculptors working today

Richard Serra

The legendary Richard Serra, today the elder statesman of the art, is famous for his fantastic, huge and minimalist sheet metal assemblages that seek to explore the relationship – or exchange – between the work itself, the location it is based in and the viewer observing it.

One of his most celebrated works is The Matter of Time, which is comprised of eight rolled sheets that curl around. The late art critic Robert Hughes considered it to be a colossal work of art.

Quote: “You can talk about the ‘how’ and the ‘what’, but “when you get to the ‘why’ it gets a little more difficult.”

Anish Kapoor

Bright, bold and breathtaking, Anish Kapoor’s often gargantuan sculptures have pushed the boundaries of sculpture to their very limit, not only representing extraordinary feats in engineering, but in pure aesthetics too.

Tate says that he is “prominent among his contemporaries for the quality of hermetic lyricism” that is evident in much of his work, which often incorporate Eastern and Western influences.

Quote: “Red is a colour I’ve felt very strongly about. Maybe red is a very Indian colour, maybe it’s one of those things that I grew up with and recognise at some other level.”

Antony Gormley

The work of Antony Gormley is instantly recognisable, testament to his popularity as an artist and the fact that the language of his work is extremely accessible, made all the more easier by the very public nature of much of it.

He is concerned with examining the nature of being, of consciousness in this world and humanity’s meaning against the greater cosmos, with White Cube explaining that he “continually tries to identify the space of art as a place of becoming in which new behaviours, thoughts and feelings can arise”.
Quote: “Art is the means by which we communicate what it feels like to be alive. In the past, that was fasmixed up with other illustrative duties, but that was still its central function that has been liberated in the art called modern.”

Rachel Whiteread

One of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors, Rachel Whiteread has a particular interest in working with traditional casting methods and materials, utilising it to explore a lot of very interesting ideas.

Tate has explained her focus to be on the consciousness of the inherently “human-scaled design of the objects with which we surround ourselves”, which she “exploits” through the “severing of this connection [and by the]removal of the object’s function”.

Quote: “I make all this stuff in the studio, but I also work on these white elephants — like House or Untitled Monument — things that are incredibly ambitious, take an awful long time to do, involve a lot of controversy, an awful lot of people, and don’t make any money particularly, but it’s just because I need to make them.”

Lynda Benglis

Provocative, forward-thinking and utterly original, Lynda Benglis has done a lot to explore the disparities of gender and has championed feminism through her amazing sculptors.

She is still an extremely underestimated artist despite her influence, yet take nothing away from her, she has contributed significantly to the evolution of sculpture and its ability to deliver powerful messages. History will judge as much.

Quote: “It’s very difficult for me to feel comfortable anywhere. I like to wake up in the morning and not know where I am.”

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