Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sculpting the Environment

The term environmental sculpture will often bring up an image of something green. It would make you thing of something that's alive, or biodegradable, or at the very least something organic. Despite these stereotypical ideas which are not entirely wrong, many environmental sculptures generate there impact and beauty by pooling together the things that surround them and creating an assemblage of sorts. Just like in the picture below, this man-made scenery is actually an example of "Site-Specific" sculpture that resembles a spiral whirlpool in the ocean. This movement of sculpture began from contemporary abstract sculpture, but was transformed by several artists including Robert Irwin, James Turrel and Richard Serra.

Sculpture by Robert Smithson Photgraphy by Soren Harward

Sometimes called "land art" , these large sculptures or scenery designs can take months to create because of their unique media. It is indeed a challenge for any artist to get out there and use the earth as his canvas. Most environmental or site-specific sculptures are public artworks because of their great size and public availability. The artists that create them often have a purpose or message in mind that they would like the world to discover through their art. Popular themes of recent years include global warming, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and remnants of typhoons. Similar to the plop art movement, these works can amass a common area and sometimes by opinionized by many as out of place, although plop art entails much more ostracizing than site-specific art because of its nature to be a random body.


Nina Winters said...

You have a fantastic blog! I am a sculptor myself, and find it refreshing to see websites like this one. Robert Smithson is quite incredible. I would be thrilled if you would check out my website if you have the time.


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