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The Artists Creating Steel Sculptures
Get inspired 12 May 2023

The Artists Creating Steel Sculptures

steel sculpture
Jaume Plensa, Nomade, 2007

Steel is not a noble material at first glance, but it is nonetheless interesting for artists. It endures the effects of time and offers a rare creative flexibility. Sometimes monumental, sometimes delicate, steel sculpture is constantly reinventing itself. Today, Artsper helps you discover the great contemporary artists who honor it!

1. David Moreno, steel sculpture to speak of human complexity

David Moreno, Infinito Gold 1, 2021
David Moreno, Infinito Gold 1, 2021, available on Artsper

For David Moreno, steel sculpture is a way to speak about human relationships. As complex as our relationships, his works take us to new territories: infinite loops, imaginary constructions, houses on stilts. Above all, Moreno’s work calls for personal interpretation. With its hundreds of elements assembled together, each sculpture bewitches us and invites us to contemplate.

2. Louise Bourgeois, steel sculpture as a maternal tribute

steel sculpture
Louise Bourgeois, Maman, 1999, © The Easton Foundation – Photo MBAC

Artist Louise Bourgeois is now recognized as one of the greatest of her time. For over sixty years, she has revolutionized art with her autobiographical works. But this identity-based approach does not prevent her work from being fundamentally political, since she is also considered one of the first feminist artists. With Maman she has created an iconic steel sculpture that will remain as a permanent installation at the Guggenheim Bilbao.  A tribute to the strength, intelligence and protective nature of her mother.

3. Jaume Plensa, monumental sculptures and metaphysical questions

Jaume Plensa, Spiegel, 2010
Jaume Plensa, Spiegel, 2010

For Jaume Plensa, it is not the material that makes the sculpture, but the emotion. Instead of being attached to a technique, he explores cast iron, glass, and sound. Above all, he develops gigantic steel sculptures, assembling letters and numbers to form faces or bodies. A rendering that leaves its mark on hearts and minds, by its recognizable shapes, its size and its remarkable aesthetic. Through his masterpieces, Plensa addresses the diversity of identity, the power of language, the beauty of complexity.

4. Hellen Halftermeyer, the sensitivity of steel sculpture

steel sculpture
Hellen Halftermeyer, Tired, 2019, available on Artsper

Sculptor and painter, Hellen Halftermeyer creates very moving works. Particularly talented in the retranscription of strong emotions, her work does not leave anyone indifferent. By creating intense portraits, her art makes steel more noble, more sensitive. A work that explores the complexity of emotions and the entanglement of our common existences.

5. David Smith, gigantic sculptures and multiple influences

David Smith, Cubi XIII, 1963, The John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, Princeton University
David Smith, Cubi XIII, 1963, The John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, Princeton University

American sculptor David Smith creates abstract works of monumental dimensions. If his style is marked by very diverse influences, it is no less recognizable. Cubism, abstract expressionism, surrealism and constructivism form an art between figuration and abstraction. But it is especially since the 1960s that David Smith marks the history of art thanks to his series Cubis. These sculptures in polished stainless-steel measure up to three meters high and are as unclassifiable as they are breathtaking.

6. Antony Gormley, paradox in all its forms

steel sculpture
Antony Gormley, Firmament, 2008

Sculptor Antony Gormley, creator of one of the greatest British sculptures, does not limit himself to any material, style or medium. With an insatiable artistic curiosity, he uses steel, stone, concrete and light. Steel is a material that Gormley is very fond of, as it allows him to work on his favorite subject: paradox. The result is masterpieces of contemporary steel sculpture, such as Quantum Cloud, Exposure and Firmament.

7. Anastasiya Protsenko, steel sculpture to honor nature and chance

steel sculpture
Anastasiya Protsenko, Typhoon, 2019, available on Artsper

For Anastasiya Protsenko, steel sculpture is a way to immortalize nature through a moving image. The shimmering of the sun’s rays, the rustling of leaves and the solar eclipse are her favorite motifs. She never ceases to represent them, to glorify them, to embody them… to offer us a journey in where chance and poetry collide.

Steel sculpture, between lightness and power

Both flexible and solid, steel is an incredible material for creating. It can be as imposing and massive as it is delicate and precise. Expressing both lightness and power, steel sculpture is an art of complexity. And you, what is your favorite work?