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Sculpture as a Creative and Vital Art Form
Sculpture is a very vital form of art, and one which is commonly used today as well as throughout history. It is often considered to be one of the most creative forms of art, due to the wide diversity of materials which can be used, and the different methods that can be utilized to create art using sculptural methods. Sculpture has been evident as art even in artifacts that have been found from ancient civilizations, and has been evident in every culture.
Sculptural pieces can be found that date back to prehistoric times, which are generally made from soft stone materials, ivory or clay. As time went on, more advanced materials began to be used, and very early pieces began to show evidence of the use of copper, gold and silver in addition to the use of clay and stone. Large early sculptures include the Sphinxes of ancient Egypt, as well as decorative statues that were made during this same time period. There are of course many examples of classic Roman sculpture from early times, including relief sculptures that were used on the architecture itself, as well as free standing and portrait sculptures. The Renaissance was a popular period for sculptural works of art, and many of the pieces created during this timeframe, including much of the architectural sculpture, still stand today. Sculpture has always traditionally been used throughout history to represent religious art, and there are many pieces, both modern and ancient, that would fall into the category of religious sculpture. Although some Protestant branches do not approve of sculpture as a representation of religious themes, most religions commonly use them in some form.
Sculpture continues to be one of the most popular forms of art in modern times. Many modern pieces show evidence of modernist and post-modernist abstract theories on art. The materials used to create modern sculptures are as varied as the pieces themselves, and include traditional materials such as stone, wood, glass and bronze, as well as modern materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, concrete and even plastics and fiberglass. Large sculptures are among the most commonly created pieces of public art, and most communities and municipalities have incorporated sculpture into both their architecture as well as using it as displayed art. Techniques such as using landscape sculpture to blend nature into art are also popular in public areas, and these types of works are often used quite effectively in parks.
Types of Sculpture
Abstract sculpture continues to be one of the favorite varieties, due to the fact that it tends to inspire the viewer and is often more interesting to a wider audience than what a realistic piece might be. Of course, pieces representing actual people and things are also quite common, including sculptures that reflect nature, such as nautical, floral sculptures, and art which represents animals, humans and other forms of life. These sculptures vary from those which are painstakingly created with intricate details to make them extremely realistic, to pieces that use a more free-form technique that isn't as realistic, but which often captures the essence and spirit of the subject with more accuracy than a strictly realistic piece could.
In addition to large sculptures meant for outdoors display, smaller table sculptures, floor sculptures and wall sculptures are commonly used as home decorations. These beautiful pieces can often create a focal point in the room, and many times serve as the overall decorating inspiration for the entire room. Depending on personal tastes, pieces chosen for home display could range from traditional or even antique pieces to modern and contemporary art pieces.
Decorating with Sculpture
Depending on the materials used, pieces can reflect warmth and beauty, such as is often the case with wood sculptures, or alternatively, could appear modernistic and sleek, as is often the case with metal sculptures. The wide variety of styles make it easy to choose sculptural art that blends in with any type of environment, or that which reflects the preferences of the person purchasing the art. Unlike other types of art such as paintings, sculpture has a way of drawing a person in, making them want to touch and explore the piece, due to its dimensional nature.
Sculpture can be used in many different ways, either indoors or outdoors. Art pieces, both decorative as well as functional, are often used in garden areas, or as landscape accents. Large wall art is also frequently used outdoors, often as a decoration for buildings and other structures. Indoors, pieces can be used to great advantage as a decoration or accessory in many different ways. In large rooms, the use of a single large sculpture piece is common as a focal point. But even in very small rooms, tiny table art pieces or wall art can be used. The versatility of the art form makes sculpture a popular format, both for the artists who wish to create, and to the general public who simply wishes to enjoy.