From Academic Kids

Sculpture is any three-dimensional form created as an artistic expression. Sculpture is primarily concerned with space: occupying it, relating to it, and influencing the perception of it.

The term also refers to the artistic discipline, act or art of making sculpture: changing one or more of the physical or contextual attributes of an object, such as its mass, colour, texture, context, location, form, scale, implication, association, temperature or smell. Much contemporary sculpture transmits expression through arrangement and juxtaposition or by the simple designation of an object or even an act as sculpture.

The artist who sculpts is called a sculptor. A sculpted object or material has been worked to resemble sculpture either by human hands or by nature. A figure or person can be described as sculpturesque if it shares qualities with classical figurative sculpture or statue.


Traditional materials

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A sculpture: "Mother with child"

Contemporary materials

In his late writings, [[Joan Mir󝝠even proposed that some day sculptures might be made of gases; see gas sculpture.

Other materials used in modern and contemporary sculpture include:

A tree sculpture at Bristol Zoo, Bristol, England. This was sculpted with a chain saw from a standing tree, which was diseased and due to be felled
A tree sculpture at Bristol Zoo, Bristol, England. This was sculpted with a chain saw from a standing tree, which was diseased and due to be felled

Perhaps the least elitist of these media is sand, as it is used by young and old to create sand castles.


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"Reclining Woman", Bronze sculpture by Angel Botello at La Ventana al Mar, El Condado, Puerto Rico
Some of the forms of sculpture are:

Perhaps the majority of public art is sculpture. See also sculpture garden.


Sculptors include the Classical Greek masters, through Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance masters, to modern sculptors such as Henry Moore, Felix de Weldon and Alexander Ney.

See also: List of sculptors

Greenfield Products Pty Ltd v. Rover-Scott Bonnar Ltd

The Australian copyright case of Greenfield Products Pty Ltd v. Rover-Scott Bonnar Ltd (1990) 17 IPR 417 is authority for the proposition that a thing not intended to be a sculpture is not a sculpture. This seems contrary to some famous examples of sculpture, including Marcel Duchamp's 1917 sculpture consisting of a porcelain urinal lying on its back, entitled "Fountain", and Carl Andre's sculpture "Equivalent III" exhibited in the Tate Gallery in 1978, consisting of bricks stacked in a rectangle.


A Nude or 'unadorned' figure was in Greek classical sculpture a reference to the status or role of the depicted person, deity or other being. Athletes, priestesses and gods could be identified by their adornment or lack of it.

The Renaissance preoccupation with Greek classical imagery, such as the 4th century B.C. Doryphoros of Polykleitos, led to nude figurative statues being seen as the 'perfect form' of representation for the human body. Subsequently, nudity in sculpture and painting has represented a form of ideal, be it innocence, openness or purity. Nude sculptures are still common. As in painting, they are often made as exercises in efforts to understand the anatomical structure of the human body and develop skills that will provide a foundation for making clothed figurative work.

Nude statues are widely acceptable by most societies, largely due to the length of tradition that supports this form. Occasionally, the nude form draws objections, often by fundamentalist moral or religious groups who do not understand the context of what they are objecting to. Classic examples of this are the removal of penises from the Vatican collection of Greek sculpture and the addition of a fig leaf to a plaster cast of Michaelangelo's sculpture of David for Queen Victoria's visit to the British Museum.

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