Sculpture Archive

  1. Zimoun_list

    We’ve featured his work before and here we are featuring it again, but we reserve the right to feature it as many times as we like, as we really can’t get enough of the masterful kinetic sculptures of Swiss artist Zimoun. According to his admirers, Zimoun “is best compared to a watchmaker of a self-reproducing time, constructing his own gauging station.” But as far as we’re concerned, it really isn’t as complex as all that; Zimoun’s appeal comes from his ability to turn simple, functional objects into extraordinary sensory experiences.

  2. Wilfridwood-list

    It’s been over three years since we caught up with legendary model-maker, illustrator and ex-Thatcher parody-er Wilfrid Wood, but he’s been very busy fashioning the very finest satirical sculpture known to man. What with all the Olympic action last year he was commissioned again and again to render leaping anthropomorphic athletes for magazine editorials as well as a blue, balloon-faced Tom Daley posed in his skimpy diving pants. He’s also done a couple of exceptional homages (perhaps piss-takes) of rock and roll legends Paul McCartney and David Bowie as well as a bare-armed Bieber that we can’t stop laughing at. Keep ’em coming Wilfrid – nobody does it quite like you.

  3. List

    “There are nine million bicycles in Beijing, that’s a fact,” sang Katie Melua a few years ago showing a blatant disregard for the meaning of the word fact. But here’s a Chinese-linked bicycle fact for for you, there are 760 bicycles in Ai Weiwei’s latest sculpture at the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy. The extraordinary walk-through piece on a raised stage in the gallery references some of the iconic artist’s previous work and questions our relationship with mobility, consumerism and mass manufacture. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Melua!

  4. List

    We were already big fans of Dutch illustrator Merjin Hos and his vibrant, colourful work but his newest offerings have cranked that admiration up to 11. The pithily titled Wood Sculptures comrpises 109 wooden sculptures ranging from five to 14 inches high, each of which is bursting with character in a deliberately simple, playful way.

  5. Z_z-citrus-mask-eyes-list

    With their achingly intricate paper sculptures of hummingbirds, Game Boys and burgers, French graphic design duo Zim & Zou have been showing the rest of us for a while now what can be done with a stanley knife and a steady hand. Eschewing the computer for quality paper (or in the case of their Hermès’ parrot, leather offcuts from the company’s workshops) they make beautiful objects all deserving of magnified close-ups.

  6. Listimage

    Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, we all know the news will be reporting it as though death is falling from above at the glimpse of a spattering (with the nation’s attention refocused on the levels of grit!) but mainly there is total love for snow right? It is, after all, basically the daddy of fun. And Japanese artist Toshihko Shibya is making this ice cool powder-puff fluff even cooler with his Snow Pallet installation. Toshihko’s aim is to transform some of the plain looking landscapes wintry weather can create, injecting some fun and personality into places otherwise visually barren. Like most brilliant ideas, Snow Palletis a remarkably simple concept – Toshihko paints iron disks in a variety of colours, placing them at differing heights from the ground. As natural light enables the colour hues to reflect off the snows surface, a gradient of colour presents itself amid the whitewashed landscape. The results are as beautiful as they are reliant on natures forces.

  7. List

    We come across miniature sculpture quite often but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like Nic Joly’s dark, sad little tableaux. The tiny works range from the fantastical to the metaphorical, but the ones that really stand out for me are the heartbreaking scenes of loneliness, awkwardness and regret. With titles like Stood Up and Lonely Lunch, Nic not only manages to capture tremendous pathos on a tiny scale but also communicates a great deal with minimum fuss. This skill is also apparent in works like Ex-pat where you can almost smell the country club scotch coming off the white-suited figure; but it’s not just dark humour he’s capable of, as demonstrated in the pleasingly simple Stuck and the tribute to Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull space jump.

  8. Main

    I don’t know what happened yesterday afternoon, but the usually relatively fun vibes in the It’s Nice That headquarters dropped below five and everyone started getting a bit sleepy and quiet. That is until THESE guys showed up! Say hello to this friendly army of ceramic ghosts that just have something unbelievably amazing about them that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s their frightened eyes, maybe it’s their Flump-inspired colours, whatever it is — they’re great.

  9. Arianeprin-list

    We’re all for taking time over creative projects, but Ariane Prin has to be congratulated for taking slow production to a whole new level. Inspired by public fountains around Polish cities, Ariane’s Water Cups Fountain is a generative kinetic sculpture that disperses ceramic over plaster moulds, slowly layering up a spontaneous structure as it spins. The results are certainly eye-catching, but it’s the process that excites us the most; the sheer technical ingenuity behind such a simple creation.

  10. Main

    To give you an idea of the guy who made these creatures, here’s a little snippet of his bio: “Born 1948 in Scheveningen, Netherlands, studies physics at Delft University of Technology, 1975 – 1980 Paintings and drawings, 1980 Flies UFO across Delft, 1981 Flies UFO across Paris”.

  11. Evan-robarts-list

    I make no secret of the fact that I’m perplexed by sculpture; I appreciate it aesthetically but often struggle to take away any of the conceptual ideas it purports to discuss. Maybe I’m a philistine but more often than not I’m just happy to stand and stare at objects that transcend the boundaries of organic and manmade and appeal directly to my senses.

  12. List

    Despite our love of prattling on, sometimes it’s the artists themselves who best articulate the qualities of their work we so admire. So it is with Kate MccGwire, who describes her extraordinary feather creations as being “both sensual and deviant in equal measure.” Kate is best known for her huge pieces where slicks of feathers become organic masses and take over the gallery space in beautiful and unsettling ways. Her new show opening in London next week focusses on less overwhelming but no less intriguing pieces, smaller sculptures of incredible form and texture which seem to throb with an inner vitality.

  13. Listimage

    We’ve all heard the phrases “you are what you eat” or “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” which unconsciously barge into our thoughts seconds before we bite into a second helping of delicious guilt drizzled cake. With this in mind it’s far too tempting when speaking about Paris-based artist Mathilde Roussel to say we’re hungry for more. Limping cliches aside, the politics and importance of food to our existence is central throughout Roussel’s Lives of Grass. Her living grass sculptures marry recycled materials with soil and seed to create a living representation of life, growth, and inevitably decay.

  14. Chicagoinstallation-list

    Not that long ago, August in fact, we featured the work of designer Mathis Pfäffli and mentioned that he and his collective Detektiv Bureau were in the middle of a residency in Chicago. Well they’re still busy over in The Windy City but have just sent through some absolutely stunning images of what they’ve been getting up to since we last spoke.

  15. Listimage

    The human form is a beautiful thing be it small, large, wobbly or as taut as Robin Hood’s bow. This beauty is the starting point for artist Kohei Nawa’s solo exhibition TRANS presented at Sandwich in his home town of Osaka. Kohei begins his transformation of the human form by utilising cutting-edge sculptural techniques involving 3D scans, computers and a whole load of distortion, manipulation and even more smoothing out. This computer process is called ‘texture mapping’ whereby the collected data can be tinkered with to create things that, at times, only hint to their original state. The resulting fluid, three-dimensional surfaces evoke a sense that these forms are not part of this world, but parallel to it.

  16. List

    We can’t be the only ones getting a bit tired of clipart pumpkins affixed to anything and everything in a desperate bid to cash in on Halloween and we were crying out for a genuinely interesting spooky surprise. Enter Marc Hagan-Guirey who makes kirigami (i.e. single-sheet) paper sculptures of the houses from famous scary films.

  17. List

    Here at It’s Nice That we hardly ever get to use the phrase “mathematical and geometric treatise” but hold on to your hats because paper sculptor Helen Friel has just given us the perfect opportunity to do just that. She has collaborated with Moo’s Luxe Project to create an extraordinary set of 3D versions of mathematician Oliver Byrne’s famous illustrations of Euclid’s Elements.

  18. Main

    This summer, thanks to projects such as Bold Tendencies in Peckham, we got pretty used to witnessing shows curated up high on a roof with a killer view and a drink in hand. But now as the winter winds are drawing in, it’s time for us arty types to scuttle into the warmth of galleries and basement’s to get our artistic fix. Good timing, then, for artist Toby Ziegler who has set up his latest show 14 storey’s below ground level, in an underground car park in Mayfair.

  19. List

    We’re used to some pretty mindbending visual trickery here at It’s Nice That but get ready for something extra special to blow off any Monday morning cobwebs. For their new show at London’s Blain Southern Gallery, Tim Noble and Sue Webster have continued their exploration of portraiture by creating these extraordinarily detailed silhouette pieces using old wool and broken tools.The actual sculptures couldn’t be much less prepossessing, scattered with sawdust and other debris, but thanks to the light they become compelling, unnerving and unexpectedly beautiful.

  20. List

    When it comes to finishing off a yoghurt there are three types of people in this world – spoon-scrapers, pot-lickers or just the plain yoghurt-wasters. But whatever your yoghurt finishing approach, I doubt that when creating their wonderfully bizarre installation for this year’s Beijing’s Design festival the talented people at Aidia Studios could have cared less – as long as they got their 1,664 ceramic yoghurt pots to form the basis of their phenomenal light installation they were happy.

  21. List

    I think we can all agree that tables, over the decades, have served humankind’s needs pretty well. From eating to meeting, scheming to preening and working to flirting they’ve been one of our most enduring furniture-friends. But you know what the blighters have hardly ever done? Hosted waterscapes, that’s what, so enter iconic Italian designer Gaetano Pesce.

  22. Hvs

    The wardrobe is a tool often used in fiction to convey a sense of magic (Narnia), terror (The Others) or even a time travelling portal (Time Bandits). Artist and sculptor Hannes Van Severen is joining the ranks of creatives who have been inspired by this ubiquitous bedroom object, and has transformed a collection of wooden wardrobes into fantasy objects. Hannes says of his work that he “deprives the object of its original functionality and allows its aesthetic value to prevail.” In order to really feel what he’s making, you’ve got to let your mind go and allow him to reintroduce this object we know so well as something entirely different.

  23. Jockmooney-list

    Jock Mooney is probably not of sound mind. His sculptural works reduce the world to its most primitive, vulgar elements. Dogs with irritable bowels and extreme nausea are rife within his portfolio, as are zombie transvestites, three-breasted ladies and schoolgirls disguised as landscapes. What is he trying to tell us about the world? That we’re all just floating around in a sea of faecal matter, that everything’s just one big joke? Probably not. Probably nothing. But we don’t care because we just bleedin’ love his work. It’s frivolous, exuberant, chaotic – and all sorts of other adjectives you’d use to describe a wayward toddler – and it brings a terrifically wide grin to our faces. For that Mr. Mooney, we thank you.

  24. List

    As a whippersnapper I always had a reputation for being a bit of a butterfingers, and breaking the familial crockery was something of a hallmark of my pre-adolescence. So much so that the sight of this sculpture is enough to make me a bit panicy, but luckily I’ve got beyond my ceramicware issues to enjoy the majesty of this.

  25. Tashalewis-list

    The streets of Indianapolis have recently come alive with bright blue wildlife. Public spaces, sculptures and private properties have found themselves swarmed with beautiful butterflies that show no sign of moving on. Fret not though, these ornate creatures aren’t a bright-coloured plague of Biblical proportions but rather the guerrilla sculptures of Indianapolis native Tasha Lewis. The young artist and designer has been creating hundreds of the magnetic insects and installing them around the city, creating eco street art that’s easily assembled and does no damage to the surface it’s attached to.

  26. Dmlist

    Picture the scene – It’s early afternoon in an LA film producer’s office, all glass tabletops and modern art prints. A struggling screenwriter, dressed shabbily, is casting about for any ideas to engage the bored executive with. “So, err, everyone says print is dead but what about a film set in the near-future where magazines get their revenge on the human race, taking over the world Day of the Triffids style. Revenge for all the recycling and iPad love?” The executive stubs out his cigar slowly. “Name your price.”

  27. Akashn-11

    What’s that you say? You’re a huge fan of art that plays fast and loose with your sense of depth? Who isn’t. And you’re also partial to the liberal use of neon vinyl tape? Well consider your niche tastes catered for by the mind-bending work of Aakash Nihalani.

  28. List

    For a country whose most dangerous animal is a big squirrel, the UK has long had a place in its heart for the lion. Part of our heraldic history, it has continued to capture our imaginations and one of the most impressive Cultural Olympiad commissions was surely Shauna Richardson’s massive crochet lions that toured the land. More static but equally as eye-catching is Ben Long’s new scaffold lion for the grounds of Bruce Castle in Tottenham, north east London.

  29. List

    Make no mistake, Korean artists Yun-Woo Choi makes eye-popping, jaw-dropping things – huge sculptures often made from newspaper and magazines painstakingly built into something ferociously intense and really beautiful. But this is a creative on a mission to make you think as well as marvel and there’s a richly-researched seam of theoretical physics behind his work, as well as Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. With a particular fascination with multiple dimensions, his work becomes even more intriguing as you realise that there’s a lot more going on here than initially meets the eye.

  30. List

    How often do artists get commissioned to create pieces of work that can be, well, as big as they want? The answer is not often. But Alan Gibb, founder of Gibb’s Farm sculpture park in New Zealand, has taken matters into his own hands and making sure that his favourite artists are getting the brief they deserve.

  31. Swimming-1

    So, we’re fairly inundated with sporty visuals these days, as all manner of superhero-esque London antics are projected across the globe. But they’ve been absolutely captivating, so here are some more!

  32. List

    For 99 per cent of the time the vast majority of the population don’t give a hoot about swimming but when the Olympics rolls around we all start tutting over a hip-heavy butterfly stroke or holding forth about Michael Phelps’ genetic predispositions. With such intense public scrutiny, the commission to design the Aquatics Centre is a massive deal and could only rally go to a genuine architectural big-hitter such as Zaha Hadid.

  33. Patrick-dougherty-list

    North Carolina-based sculptor Patrick Dougherty weaves dreamlike sculptures out of woods, twigs, vines, and any such natural tree-derived materials available to him. The textural density and wavering structural curves tilt towards the surreal, with the sparseness of materials and shadowy window-cavities evoking the ruins of lost phantom civilisations, their dwellings mysterious and occasionally frozen in a fictional wind. On another level, their warping appearance makes them like animated houses – I’m reminded of the fortresses in The Supermario Bros, and there are playful architectural references in the construction of onion-domes, arches, and spires that remind us of the mimicery involved in building playhouses.

  34. Jackie-younglist

    Relays are fun aren’t they – the combination of team and individual, the frisson of terror when the baton slips from someone’s grasp and that moment when one team just puts a really fast guy/girl at the end and romps home to victory from well back in the field. So it’s great news that our friends up at KK Outlet are harnessing this pleasure in a cultural context with their new show Art Relay.

  35. Ewlist

    It’s no great revelation to state that public art can be fairly hit and miss but kudos to The Standard Hotel in New York who have shown exactly how you go about it. 1. Pick someone brilliant, like Erwin Wurm. 2. Let that someone brilliant do what they do best. 3. Stick the piece on show and wait for the plaudits to roll in. Unveiled yesterday, Big Kastenmann (translated as Big Boxman) is an 18-foot high headless aluminium surrealist sculpture, part-coated in dripping pink enamel paint. It’s actually a giant version of one of the artist’s pieces from 2010 but on this scale and in such a busy location, it takes on a whole new meaning, like a freeze-frame from a deliciously whimsical disaster movie.

  36. Evan-nesbit

    Evan Nesbit is a mixed media artist living and working in Connecticut, creating large-scale woven works that are alive with colour and inherently tactile. Created using a mixture of acrylic, wool and masonry foam as well as traditional patchwork techniques Nesbit’s creations cry out to be touched, bursting forth from their wall fixtures out into space; at times taking organic forms that appear richly fertile, evoking both masculine and feminine sexuality despite being composed from materials largely associated with feminine craft.

  37. Kristiina-lahde-list

    Kristiina Lahde’s work is preoccupied with measurement, regulation, and the possibilities for boundary-breaking that such systems present. Using material that traditionally provides and facilitates order, like measuring tapes, phone books, and rulers, the Canadian artist produces graphic works and sculptures that reconsider their original function and refresh them as something new and extraordinary. Her Beyond Measure series of works examines the role of measurement in our day-to-day lives; in the Metric system pieces, she takes one mode of structuring and regulating physical reality (inches and centimetres) and reconfigures them as abstracted cubes that nevertheless retain a sense of uniformity and consistency. Her 2009 bookwork, Compilation, meanwhile appears to play on the hive of information currently available to us, and perhaps ties the intentional graphic consistency of something as humdrum as a telephone book with the startlingly beautiful consistency of natural geometric forms. Wow.

  38. Fpe-gary-webb-list

    When I was growing up, there were apparently more golf courses in Ireland than playgrounds. At the age of seven my younger sister and I even resorted to improvising a see-saw out of a styrofoam surfboard and random cylindrical plastic thing we found in the shed. All this makes me massively appreciate a decent and fun playground structure, though my feelings are admittedly mixed with a dash of envy for the kids these things are actually designed for. Sigh.

  39. Main

    Funny how something that could be so easily overlooked in the real world can whip around the internet and be witnessed by thousands faster than you can say “disused factory.” Alex Chinneck, the brains behind charming conceptual sculptures such as Self-Employed – a circular chimney blowing smoke back into itself, and Fighting Fire with Ice Cream – an enormous piece of chipboard that has been painstakingly coloured-in, has recently completed his latest and largest piece to date: Telling the Truth Through False Teeth. Chinneck has taken a disused warehouse in Hackney and removed all the windows, replacing them with identically smashed panes of glass, creating an almost kaleidoscopic, double-take inducing element of beauty to a building that was, previously, probably completely overlooked.

  40. Eyal-gever-list-01

    In the meeting point between technology and art, Eyal Gever is holding fort. He is both developer of extraordinary digital systems that produce sublime hypothetical models, and sculptor of these simulations made real.