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Abstract Expressionist Sculptures

The Abstract Expressionist movement may be more closely associated with painters such as Jackson Pollack and Willem De Kooning, but the works produced by those artists that chose to work outside of a two dimensional medium are fascinating in their own right. Painting became increasingly influenced by the concept of “action-painting," where the artist spontaneously constructed each piece in unconventional ways to communicate abstract emotional states and meanings, and sculpture followed suit.

Sculptors involved in the movement throughout the 1950s and 60s sought to create similar forms, with similar effects, in three dimensions. This presented numerous physical and conceptual challenges, since the sculptural medium tends to be harder to improvise in manipulation. Pieces from this period all display the many ways sculptors rose to this challenge.

It is not a coincidence, then, that some of the most successful sculptors from this period were trained as painters before turning to sculpture. Often, they made pieces to be displayed against a wall, similar to how one would display a work on canvas. These abstract sculptures were based on the same fluidity that defined the period’s painting, but cast it into grand scale and solid form.


Quick Facts

  • David Smith, whose “Voltri-Bolton XXIII” fetched the highest price at auction for contemporary sculpture when it was sold in 1986, was once famously quoted as stating “I do not recognize the limits where painting ends and sculpture begins"
  • Carl Jung's theory of the “collective subconscious” is a major influence on Abstract Expressionism, be on the lookout for underlying emotional archetypes and symbolism in pieces such as these
  • Abstract Expressionism is sometimes referred to as the “New York School,” though the movement eventually expanded outside of the United States

Recommended Items at Auction

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Igor Mitoraj (Oederan, 1914- Parigi, 2014) Sculpture for Christofle, 1977
Oct 06, 2:00 PM CEST
Igor Mitoraj (Oederan, 1914- Parigi, 2014) Sculpture for Christofle, 1977
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €0- €0
€65015 Bids
(VASA) VELIZAR MIHICH (AMERICAN, B. 1933)
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
(VASA) VELIZAR MIHICH (AMERICAN, B. 1933)
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $300- $600
$2756 Bids
Cactus Steel Yard Art Sculpture
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Cactus Steel Yard Art Sculpture
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$655 Bids
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CÉSAR (1921 - 1998) Le Coeur éclaté - 1989 Bronze à patine brune
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
CÉSAR (1921 - 1998) Le Coeur éclaté - 1989 Bronze à patine brune
by Artcurial
Est: €800- €1,200
€6503 Bids
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MAN RAY (1890 - 1976) Le cadeau - 1974 Fer à repasser et clous
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
MAN RAY (1890 - 1976) Le cadeau - 1974 Fer à repasser et clous
by Artcurial
Est: €500- €700
€4003 Bids
Abstract Biomorphic Mid Century Modern Modernist Sculpture
Oct 02, 3:00 PM PDT
Abstract Biomorphic Mid Century Modern Modernist Sculpture
by Clark's Auction Company
Est: $150- $250
$801 Bid
Ferdinand Vonck (1921-2010), untitled wall sculpture, ebonised wood, H 106 cm
Oct 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Ferdinand Vonck (1921-2010), untitled wall sculpture, ebonised wood, H 106 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €1,000- €1,500
€8001 Bid
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Miguel BERROCAL (1933-2006) Torse Épigastrique (Opus 377) - 1989 Laiton poli
Oct 04, 12:00 PM CEST
Miguel BERROCAL (1933-2006) Torse Épigastrique (Opus 377) - 1989 Laiton poli
by Artcurial
Est: €300- €400
€2701 Bid
John Raimondi (American, b. 1948) Untitled Freeform Sculpture
Oct 06, 10:00 AM EDT
John Raimondi (American, b. 1948) Untitled Freeform Sculpture
by Hindman
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,0001 Bid
ROXY PAINE (née ne 1966) Sans titre. Sculpture en résine. Pièce unique Sc
Oct 16, 2:30 PM CEST
ROXY PAINE (née ne 1966) Sans titre. Sculpture en résine. Pièce unique Sc
by Cornette de Saint-Cyr-Bruxelles
Est: €0- €0
€101 Bid
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Rut Bryk Cube sculpture, 1950s-1960s
Oct 04, 2:00 PM BST
Rut Bryk Cube sculpture, 1950s-1960s
by Bonhams
Est: £1,000- £1,500
£1,0001 Bid
Noguchi Style Modern Steel & Composite Sculpture
Oct 09, 12:00 PM EDT
Noguchi Style Modern Steel & Composite Sculpture
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $800- $1,200
$1001 Bid
CHARLES HEWITT (AMERICAN, B. 1946)
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
CHARLES HEWITT (AMERICAN, B. 1946)
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
CAROL GORALNIK (AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST CENTURY)
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
CAROL GORALNIK (AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST CENTURY)
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $50- $150
$251 Bid
MICHAEL PLAMINEK (CZECH/AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST C.)
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
MICHAEL PLAMINEK (CZECH/AMERICAN, 20TH/21ST C.)
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
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George Warren Rickey (American, 1907-2002), "Untitled"
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CDT
George Warren Rickey (American, 1907-2002), "Untitled"
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$8001 Bid
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Benjamin Moore (American, 1952-2021) Plate from Lapis and Blue Palla Set, circa
Sep 29, 4:00 PM CDT
Benjamin Moore (American, 1952-2021) Plate from Lapis and Blue Palla Set, circa
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$2401 Bid
Lluis Cera - 1967 Barcelona - works in the same place
Sep 29, 2:00 PM CEST
Lluis Cera - 1967 Barcelona - works in the same place
by Neumeister
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,5001 Bid
Bo Alisson (1952), untitled sculpture, Belgian blue stone on wooden stands, H 14 - W 40 cm
Oct 04, 10:00 AM CEST
Bo Alisson (1952), untitled sculpture, Belgian blue stone on wooden stands, H 14 - W 40 cm
by Carlo Bonte Auctions
Est: €500- €800
€3001 Bid
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Giles Bettison (Australian, b. 1966) Cell Series No. 26, 1999 Fused murrine 15-1
Sep 29, 4:00 PM CDT
Giles Bettison (Australian, b. 1966) Cell Series No. 26, 1999 Fused murrine 15-1
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid
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Giles Bettison (Australian, b. 1966) Cell Series No. 44, 1999 Fused murrine 4-1/
Sep 29, 4:00 PM CDT
Giles Bettison (Australian, b. 1966) Cell Series No. 44, 1999 Fused murrine 4-1/
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
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Matthew Curtis (British, b. 1964) Neo and Ruby Phloem, 2015 Blown, fused and col
Sep 29, 4:00 PM CDT
Matthew Curtis (British, b. 1964) Neo and Ruby Phloem, 2015 Blown, fused and col
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Expressionist Sculptures


Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

New Orleans Auction Galleries

New Orleans Auction Galleries

Finarte

Finarte