Sculpture Archive

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    Berlin-based artist Maiko Gubler can usually be found creating deceptively three-dimensional imagery utilising a mixture of 3D modelling software. She’s created glossy ceramic-like fruits for magazine covers, metallic fish for German club albums but now she’s actually making objects that exist in the real world. Her collection of Gradient Bangles are created from 3D-printed gypsum and uniquely coloured to create an extraordinary range of jewellery. Lovely stuff.

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    Rodan Kane Hart is a South African artist and graduate of the Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town. Having only received his bachelors degree in 2011 he’s got a pretty impressive body of sculptures to his name already that broadly deal with the colonial origins of modern South Africa. Though I’d struggle to say that I appreciate the fine details of the concepts behind his practise, I’m incredibly impressed by his use of materials; the balance of industrial and natural substances and the interplay he creates between geometric forms and landscape. Definitely one to watch.

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    Elena Stonaker is part fine artist, part fashion designer with the sensibilities of a quilter thrown in for good measure. She makes dolls, paints pictures, and fashions bizarre wearable sculptures from amalgamations of fabric, jewels and imagery that sit somewhere between tapestry and garments. In short, she is one of a kind.

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    As much as the sculptures of the time insinuate, the average man hanging round the forum in 500 BC didn’t necessarily have rippling quads, a laurel wreath and an angry God hot on his trail. This is perhaps why Tom Price’s sculptures of men he sees hanging around South London ring so true. In these beautiful sculptures of men, toned abs are replaced with beer bellies, divine movements swapped with bored slouching and catapults with mobile phones.

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    German artist Katharina Grosse has an obsession with scale. She told as much when we spoke to her for the autumn issue of Printed Pages magazine, an interview in which she revealed she goes surfing in New Zealand every year to reset her own sense of her place against the infinite natural scale. All this puts her latest project in a Brooklyn Park into perspective (in every sense of the word). Just Two Of Us is a series of massive multi-coloured sculptures which have taken over the MetroTech Commons plaza, looking like the architectural remains of a post-punk psychedelic society. It’s bright, bold and inescapably interactive; three things Katharina does as well as any artist we can think of.

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    At this year’s Here conference I introduced Andy Rementer to the stage saying that “we feature him so often on the site he probably thinks we have a bit of a crush on him, which we basically do.” I’m not saying I regret saying that necessarily but I have replayed it in my mind a few times wondering just how appropriate it was. Nonetheless Andy got in touch a few weeks ago telling us about his new project which sees his bright and colourful cavalcade of characters go all 3D.

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    Lina Sponberg’s still a student in her third year at the Broby Grafiska College of Cross Media, Sweden but the professional standard of her work belies her young age. She’s enrolled on a packaging and graphic design course, meaning she gets to learn the basics of good design but also has to apply it to some very specific applications. She’s already created album covers and cosmetics packaging that looks incredibly convincing but we’ve been enthralled by her personal poster project that creates beautiful geometric illustrations from carefully-crafted 3D paper-scapes. The posters play with our natural sense of perspective, warping and distorting as you move around them, the final pattern only revealed from a specific angle. The idea itself is interesting enough but Lina’s attention to detail in the finishing shows off an impressive range of construction and design skills.

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    We’ve all seen paper sculpture before; it’s the impressive 3D stuff cut from sheets of brightly-coloured modelling card that makes you wonder how anyone could have the patience to sit at a desk for hours and ruin their fingertips for just one piece of work. But what you probably haven’t seen before is sandpaper sculpture – same principle, much more dangerous material. Paper sculpture veteran Mandy Smith has just collaborated with photographer Bruno Drummond to produce these uncomfortable looking, hand-crafted creations. There’s a bikini that we’d suggest should never be worn, a slide that encourages severe chaffing and the less said about the toilet roll the better. That’s a nightmare hangover scenario that we never want to experience. Look at that torn roll just sat there, all unassuming looking, waiting to wreak havoc on your undercarriage.

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    Only the most capable creatives can create what feels like an entire parallel universe in a single room inside a gallery, but Korean artist Soo Sunny Park has made this tricky task her niche. Toying with light and space to conjure up waves of rainbows from thousands of squares of prismatic glass tied to a wire frame, she warps our perception of reality into a phosphorescent shimmer of what we know.

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    You might remember us talking about Ai Weiwei’s impressive Forever Bicycles installation in January (if you don’t you should – we made a terrible but unavoidable joke about Katie Melua) and this weekend he recreated it in Toronto for La Nuit Blanche, an all night arts and culture festival.

  11. List-cadi-froehlich

    Artist Cadi Froehlich co-ordinates something very beautiful out of her own kind of chaos. She makes sculpture on large and small scales from salvaged copper and materials which have a Rauschenberg-esque “found object” quality to them, resulting in artwork which is both curiously inviting and strangely detached at the same time.

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    Window dressers often go unnoticed, don’t you think? Involved in their own unique brand of set design, they create micro-universes designed both to frame and to contextualise a fashion designer or retail outlet’s vision, and yet unless they’re dressing the enormous storefronts of Louis Vuitton or transforming Selfridges into a submarine they rarely get the credit they deserve.

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    There’s something fascinating about artwork which transcends its own medium to masquerade as another, and artist Mathilde Roussel has perfected the mastery of making paper look like anything but. Using graphite (lots of it) and a well-loved scalpel, Mathilde transforms large pieces of paper into what appears to be rubber, causing them to behave almost like organic forms draped over walls. Appropriately, then, and instead of being exhibited in frames, the final pieces are then hung from hooks and left to fall naturally. Droopy ears, abandoned socks, butterfly chrysalises – they look like any number of things, but paper is certainly not one of them.

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    “Childhood is a place I long to return – a place of safety and comfort, where I exist happy; careless; fearless; unencumbered by adult experience.” Through her explorations of fear, loss and the unknown, shown through her wistful sculptures, artist Alex Simpson leaves us in limbo, uncertain whether we are taken by her works’ complete beauty or haunted by the ominous air that cloaks it. Yet it is hard not to be drawn in by their delicacy, the sculpture’s sunken eyes and curious features luring us into a menacing world where creatures of nightmares exist.

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    This year’s London Design Festival drew to a close over the weekend and although I left it late I eventually made it down to Tate Modern to check out the landmark project for 2013 – Endless Stair. Created by dRMM Architects and engineering firm Arup, the piece consisted of 15 interlocking tulipwood staircases that came together to lead nowhere, inspired by the paintings of M.C. Escher.

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    In a celebration of creative collaboration, whisky brand The Famous Grouse is embarking on an exciting and innovative sculpture project.

  17. Luciani-list

    Now that every piece of information you could ever need exists online, printed telephone directories have more or less become a thing of the past. All that remains to be done is notify the phone book publishers that they’ve become obsolete as they still insist on dropping loads of them at my door. For Gemis Luciani this steady flow of phone books is a godsend, and he’s been using the weighty volumes to construct sculptural pieces that experiment with the potential morphological forms of a book, bending, shaping and cutting them into aesthetically pleasing, geometrically challenging works. They’re probably useless when you’re on the hunt for a mechanic but they breathe new life into a medium that feels very much like a product of the past.

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    The strength of ceramic work which has been gracing It’s Nice That recently has been bowling us over on the regular, and the recent emergence of Ruth Borgenicht proves again that the magical spring providing us with all of these clay-minded creatives has yet to run dry.

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    If his artwork is anything to go by, Shan Hur was a true champion of hide and seek as a child. The Korean-born, London-based sculptor specialises in the partial and illusory deconstruction of gallery spaces, be it a twisted column, a hole in the wall or a broken pillar, in which he often conceals unexpected items of treasure. A porcelain vase for example or a handful of coins stuck in the cement of a crumbling wall, or even a basketball in the centre of a pillar. Taking his inspiration from closed shops and construction sites, his work directly confronts the confines of a gallery space and the viewer as participant to create brilliantly stalling work which questions what we know even as it sits in front of our very eyes.

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    Unsure where to pop that pin you’ve just pulled out of your newly repaired hem? Well do not fret, friend, Eleonor Boström has designed a ceramic dog with a pin cushion for a head which will be suitably equipped to meet all your pinning needs. Not a sentence I ever predicted I’d write, but I’ll embrace it with open arms because not only has Eleonor designed tiny ceramic pups for fans of needlework, but also as salt and pepper shakers, and peeking out over the rims of teacups, and with eggcup pots for heads. And other less functional kinds which are just as lovely.

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    Yemen-born, London-based artist Zadok Ben-David conjures up fairytale-like carpets of trees, flowers, insects and plants across gallery floors, in enchanting installations which have found their way to galleries the world over. Every piece is opposed of many – sometimes even thousands – of hand-cut aluminium sculptures, each of which is a work of art in its own right, referencing both the symbolism at the heart of his mother-country and 18th and 19th Century botanical illustration. What’s more, they’re bloody lovely.

  22. Jade-list

    Though we’d definitely argue that the internet doesn’t do justice to sculptural work – you’ve just got to see that stuff in the flesh to enjoy it properly – we reckon Jade Fourès-Varnier’s sculptures are probably the closest you’ll get to a web-friendly piece of 3D art. These giant (and I do mean giant, they’re about the length of a large man) pairs of specs have been laboriously hand-made, their lenses filled with cinematic scenes of natural disasters, scenic beauty and actual movie stills. The results are spectacular – the contrast between these garish fashion items and the vast expanse of the natural world serving as a glaring reminder of the bizarre reality we inhabit.

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    There’s a lot of weird things that go on at festivals (friends and colleagues tell me, I don’t do tents/port-a-loos/large crowds) but if you’re heading to Bestival this summer you might be in line for a surreal experience par excellence. Art collective Hungry Castle plan to build a three metre high inflatable Lionel Ritchie Head, potentially rising to six metres if they can raise the necessary funds through Kickstarter.

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    What with their trendy foodie culture and compellingly bleak crime dramas, there’s a bit of a fixation with Denmark these days. And so to the coastal town of Aarhus which is hosting the latest Sculpture By The Sea festival. First launched in 1997, the exhibitions take place in Australia and Scandinavia and bring together an eclectic mix of work on the local parks, beaches and forests.

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    It might be said that the best crazy golf courses resemble mini sculpture gardens and thus that the best sculpture gardens have something of the crazy golf course about them. But these two cultural institutions have finally come together thanks to the Walker Art Center who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with two eight-hole courses designed by “artists, architects, engineers, and putt-putt connoisseurs.”

  26. Moore-list

    We’re really not sure how we’ve never featured Matt W Moore’s work on the site we can say with some authority that if you’ve not heard of him and his work you must have been tucked away in a cave for the past few years (or at least you’ve not been reading any other design websites other than our own, wearing Ray Bans or drinking Coke in London). Matt’s one of those enviable creative types who’s had the good fortune of transcending the boundaries of classification and works across platforms as a street artist, designer, illustrator and general maker of excellent things. If it’s categorisation you’re looking for though, let’s just say that he specialises in geometry, using it to create beautiful things in 2D, 3D, on walls and in print.

  27. Henrique-list

    Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira creates immersive sculptures and installations the likes of which we’ve never seen. Fashioned predominantly from found timbers, Henrique’s complex structures imitate organic forms and biological oddities that are simultaneously alluring and repellant. Works with names like Ursulinens Prolapse suggest a very direct link with the artist’s own bodily functions, seemingly creating a giant intestine for viewers to wander through. But despite this gastric link Henrique’s works are utterly appealing and undoubtedly impress with both their skill and scale.

  28. Lubna-list

    London-based artist Lubna Chowdhary creates bright, visceral installations from vibrantly hand-glazed ceramics that are extremely easy on the eye. Taking inspiration from the aesthetic practices of De Stijl, particularly Mondrian, Lubna’s work is geometric in its construction, taking complex networks of patterns and shapes and transforming them into three dimensional wall hangings. Unlike Mondrian and his counterparts her work is thick with colour, an unashamed chromatic treat.

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    There is nothing more relaxing than sitting by a roaring fire in the countryside carving a spoon. This might not be for some people but it does work for illustrator Andrew Groves. Taking his love for the outdoors and all things natural, Andrew has started a craft project called Miscellaneous Adventures. His collection of exquisitely hand-crafted wooden things are the perfect accessory for outdoor frolics, and the more serious “quests” you may have to embark on.

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    Whether you see these bulging sculptures as a melted Turkish restaurant or as objects deposited on Earth by UFOs, or as something else entirely, you can’t argue they’re not intriguing. Lionel Bawden creates these melting blobs inspired by natural curiostities such as stalagmites and, lava and sea sponges. The Sydney-based sculptor also draws recognisable influences from Islamic art and the work of much-loved sculptor Brancusi to make these spectacular, melting creatures.

  31. Hongbo-list

    Book designer Li Hongbo spends his spare time nurturing a fanatical interest in paper and its properties. Inspired by the honeycomb constructions of traditional festive decorations in China, Li creates beautiful large-scale installations of vibrant colours fashioned from paper patterns of a more sinister nature than the final visuals would suggest. He also produces impressively detailed anatomical sculptures that can be distorted and stretched to fill gallery spaces with their strange, undulating limbs and appendages. Utterly bewildering and incredibly skilful stuff.

  32. Hands-list

    I might not be the most ardent fan of street art. In fact sometimes I get a little bit stroppy with how lazy graffiti artists can be – is it really necessary to write your incomprehensible alias fifty times on the same wall? – but I’ve got a lot of time for people who are able to take a medium and subvert it a little bit.

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    Case Studyo are an interesting proposition, working with a roster of amazing artists to produce interesting and affordable sculptures. Brilliant Dutch artist Parra, whose work we have long held dear here at It’s Nice That, has just unveiled his latest collaboration with Case, in the form of Lay Down…Lay it all down a limited edition new porcelain piece which brings a typically Parra surreal form to 3D life. Released to coincide with Parra’s New York show, it follows the 2010 piece The not so happy bird (below) and proves once again that there’s really nothing Parra can’t do that doesn’t excite us. Dental floss? Crampons? His and her bumbags? We’re on board.

  34. Ap-list

    It’s deeply satisfying when a piece of sculpture stops you dead in your tracks while you work out exactly how it was made, and nobody knows how to bring about that feeling of intrigue more than Alejandro Almanza Pereda. The Mexican-born, Brooklyn-based artist creates the most intricate constructions fashioned from precariously balanced household objects, found ephemera and neon lightbulbs. The combination of fluorescent light, old wood and the glossy marbling of bowling balls creates a pretty striking visual in its own right, but the real genius of Alejandro’s work is the feeling of suspense; you can never really be sure that the whole thing won’t come crashing down at any minute – and that’s exciting stuff!

  35. Scanlabs-list

    3D Scanning masterminds ScanLAB have more or less got the market cornered when it come to their specific field of expertise. Using a range of precision technologies they’re able to capture three-dimensional structures in millimetre-perfect detail, making them indispensable to architects and geologists, but also incredibly interesting to laymen like us.

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    Not often does furniture actually make you dribble, but the images on Al Que Quiere’s stylish site had half the editorial team open-mouthed and more hypnotised than the Podlings in The Dark Cyrstal. Drawing influences from the Doric pillars of ancient Greece, this Los Angeles furniture and object-making collective have some of the most original and mystically beautiful pieces we’ve seen for a long time. No detail spared, even their info page, which can notoriously be quite lifeless, is genuinely engaging and fascinating. Bravo, Al Que Quiere! Bravo. Beware though, Prices on request.

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    We all know that lasers are cool. Statistically speaking they’re cooler than David Hasselhoff, Madonna and ice put together. Yessir. But what about threads posing as lasers? Just how cool are they exactly? It’s not a question that had ever crossed our minds until we saw the work of Jeongmoon Choi, a Korean artist who uses UV lighting and coloured thread to create striking installations. By shining UV rays onto geometrically arranged luminous threads Jeongmoon transforms galleries into spaces that resemble retro gaming grids and complex light shows. Tron fans take note, this is the fine artist for you!

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    A paper replica of an eighties ad agency office is pretty meta. A paper replica of an imaginary eighties ad agency office is super meta. Alexis Facca, who showcases his love of paper, set design, shapes and colour under the alias Paper Donut, has created this marvelous shrine to the creative eighties by purportedly replicating the real office of the Walter R Cooper ad agency, who, as you’ll know “became one of London’s most celebrated agencies as it created glossy adverts that often combined humor, music and sexual energy and came to define the Eighties.”

  39. Andyralph_list

    Why do we love Andy Ralph? For the way he takes everyday objects and transforms them into works of unparalleled visual wit. By using items commonly found in hardware stores and littered around domestic locations, Andy “straddles the line between function and fiction, subjectivity and banality”. Witness his Zenofence, a public installation of stacked picket fences that explores the way we carve up the urban landscape. Marvel at his Trash Clan, an extraordinary mob of overturned dustbins furiously attempting to right themselves. If there’s one thing Andy definitely understands it’s how to turn the everyday into the quietly surreal.

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    If you’re anything like me, the city of Baltimore stands in my mind primarily as the setting for The Wire, once described perfectly as “A Russian novel of a television series.” But now I can add another string to my Baltimore knowledge bow, having come across the stupendous work of Jonathan Latiano.