Contemporary sculptural art embodied in the best works of MoMA
Classical styles in gypsum stucco and sculpture do not lose their relevance to this day. Refined elements of baroque and neoclassicism still adorn luxurious mansions and the most ordinary apartments. However, with the advent of new interior and architectural trends, people are increasingly striving for minimalism and surrealism. This found expression in contemporary sculptural and plaster art.
To fully appreciate the originality of the modern sculptural style, it is enough to visit the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan in New York. In short, the Museum of Modern Art is called MoMA all over the world. It is here that the largest collection of masterpieces of modern art of the XX and XXI centuries is collected. Consider some of the most famous contemporary sculptures presented at the MoMA Museum.
Auguste Rodin Monument to Balzac (1898)
Experts consider this Auguste Rodin sculpture to be the starting point of a new sculptural style. The creation of this work was commissioned by the literary society as a monument to the outstanding French writer Honore de Balzac. According to Rodin, his goal was to portray the personality of the writer, and not to achieve physical similarity. That is why the finished silhouette has separate hypertrophied parts and uneven lines.
An order for work was received in 1891. Initially, the master was set aside 18 months, but as a result, the creation of Balzac’s sculpture took 7 years. This time the sculptor needed to conduct a large-scale study on the work and life of the writer. Rodin studied everything – anatomical features, clothes, Balzac’s literary techniques.
A life-size gypsum model was created and first shown only in 1898 on the Field of Mars. The model was severely criticized and rejected, after which Roden transferred it to his house. Such negative reviews from critics were associated with the eccentricity of the work. Only 22 years after the death of the sculptor, the model was first cast in bronze and exhibited on Montparnasse Boulevard in Paris.
“Unique forms of continuity in space” is a bronze sculpture of the futuristic art of 1913, created by Umberto Boccioni. In this work, the master combined the dynamics of movement and the smoothness of lines. The sculpture is depicted on the obverse of an Italian coin in denominations of 20 cents.
Despite many years of teaching art, Boccioni considered sculpture a dead form of creativity. However, in 1912 he reconsidered his attitude to plaster molding and sculpture and created his most famous masterpiece. With this work, he wanted to demonstrate an alternative approach to sculptural art.
“Unique forms of continuity in space” depict a human-like figure in motion. The sculpture has an aerodynamic and smooth shape. Two uneven blocks are used as a pedestal. The figure does not have hands and a well-developed face. The author himself stated that the creation of this work was inspired by a football player balancing at the moment of a perfectly calibrated blow.
Konstantin Brancusi “Bird in Space” (1928)
“Bird in Space” is a series of sculptures by Romanian sculptor Konstantin Brancusi. The master created the first casts from plaster, after which the models were transformed into sculptures from more durable materials. Seven of the sculptures in the series are made of marble, and the remaining nine are cast in bronze. The first original work was created in 1923. It was sold in 2005 for $ 27.5 million.
Konstantin Brancusi “Bird in Space” (1928)
The originality of this work of art lies in the fact that Brancusi did not focus on the physical properties of the bird, but on its movement. Bird wings and feathers are completely absent, the body is elongated, and the head and beak are reduced to an inclined oval plane. The Museum of Modern Art in New York presents 2 of 16 works by Brancusi.
Charles Ray Family Romance (1993)
Charles Ray is an American sculptor whose work is difficult to describe and classify. The style, materials, objects, sizes of his sculptures are so diverse that it is sometimes difficult to believe that they were created by one person. At MoMA, one of Ray’s work is presented – Family Romance, which he created, inspired by trade mannequins.
The sculptural composition “Family Romance” represents a traditional American family consisting of parents and two children. At first glance, this is an example of the norm, but there are several details that change everything. Firstly, the gypsum figures of people are completely naked, which does not fit into the canons of traditional family relations. Secondly, unlike the mannequins that inspired Ray, all the anatomical features of men and women are depicted accurately, including secondary sexual characteristics. Thirdly, the author made all the figures of the same height – the sizes of the children do not differ from their parents. At the same time, all four gypsum figures hold hands.