10 Contemporary Sculptors to Know

Although less favourable than the almighty painting or installation, sculpture is still widely explored by contemporary artists. We bring you the 10 contemporary sculptors you should know.

Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons

1. Jeff Koons

A former trader on Wall Street, Jeff Koons is one of the most controversial figures in contemporary art. This controversy is largely due to the fact that he doesn’t create his own works, he instead has a team of over 100 assistant who realise the “genius creator’s” ideas. He is also one of the most expensive artists of his generation.

Robert Gober, Untitled, 1991–1993
Robert Gober, Untitled, (1991–1993)

2. Robert Gober

American artist, Robert Gober, plays with the concept of the everyday item. His often disturbing sculptures, distort normal objects which surround us, resulting in legs coming out of walls or stalls with breasts. The human body is at the heart of Gober’s research and practise.

Antony Gormley
Antony Gormley with his works

3. Antony Gormley

Also fascinated by the body and the relationship between time and space is British sculptor, Antony Gormley. Gormley even uses his own body to create molds, which are then made up of cubes and geometric forms. Examples of these works can be found near the Thaddeus Ropac gallery which represents him.

Expansion, Paige Bradley
Paige Bradley, Expansion

4. Paige Bradley

Bronze specialist, Paige Bradley depicts the human form in fascinating ways. Her best known work, Expansion, depicts a cross-legged woman with a light protruding from her cracked body.

Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst, The Virgin Mother (2005-2006)

5. Damien Hirst

The British enfant terrible of the 1990s, Damien Hirst is known for his enormous and fascinating works. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, depicts a shark conserved in a display case of formaldehyde. His art is centred around installation and monumental sculpture, which are often strange and sometimes controversial.

Thomas Schütte
Thomas Schütte, United Enemy (detail), (1994)

6. Thomas Schütte

The German artist and sculptor, Thomas Schütte, was a student of famous painter, Gerhard Richter. Heavily influenced by Richter, Schütte went on to spearhead contemporary German sculpture.

Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois, Spider, (1996)

7. Louise Bourgeois

French-American sculptor, Louise Bourgeois, is known worldwide for her famous giant spiders. Even after her death in 2010, her spiders can still be seen in several locations, where the large black arachnids symbolise her mother. Themes of family, memory and childhood are prominent in her works.

Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy, Tree, (2014)

8. Paul McCarthy

American artist and sculptor, Paul McCarthy is best known for his highly controversial works. He left residents particularly angry when he erected his provocative statue, Tree, in place Vendôme in Paris.

Jaume Plensa
Jaume Plensa, Awilda and Irma, (2014)

9. Jaume Plensa

Spanish sculptor, Jaume Plensa, is exhibited in many international museums. Not only did he win the prestigious Vélazquez prize, he also teaches at both the Beaux-Arts school in Paris and the Chicago School of Art. His work largely consists of large scale faces and human forms in public spaces.

Joana Vasconcelos
Joana Vasoncelos exhibiting at Château de Versailles (2012)

10. Joana Vasconcelos

Portuguese artist and sculptor, Joana Vasconcelos, creates monumental works made out of everyday objects. Her sources range from pots and tissues, to mirrors and tampons. Her notably domestic objects question the role of women in patriarchal society, allowing her to create engaging and feminist works.

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