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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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Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture 17in Mangel Gallery Provenance
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture 17in Mangel Gallery Provenance
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $18,000- $36,000
$1,50013 Bids
Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture 14in Mangel Gallery Provenance
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture 14in Mangel Gallery Provenance
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $18,000- $36,000
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MIGUEL BERROCAL (1933 - 2006)
Dec 05, 3:00 PM CET
MIGUEL BERROCAL (1933 - 2006)
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Est: €1,800- €2,200
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Xl SGD CURTIS JERE Brass Disc Grid Sculpture 1994
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
Xl SGD CURTIS JERE Brass Disc Grid Sculpture 1994
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Est: $200- $2,000
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Raw Agate and Crystal Stylecraft Art
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Raw Agate and Crystal Stylecraft Art
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Est: $0- $0
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Uecker, Günther
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Uecker, Günther
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Est: €0- €0
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Two Steel Wire Abstract Face Wall Sculptures
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Two Steel Wire Abstract Face Wall Sculptures
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Est: $100- $200
$502 Bids
Abstract Ceramic Painted Couple Sculpture
Dec 04, 10:00 AM MST
Abstract Ceramic Painted Couple Sculpture
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
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6 Foot Tall Steel And Wood Abstract Sculpture
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
6 Foot Tall Steel And Wood Abstract Sculpture
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $400- $1,200
$11 Bid
ABSTRACT MODERN MARBLE SCULPTURE ON WOOD COLUMN BASE.
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
ABSTRACT MODERN MARBLE SCULPTURE ON WOOD COLUMN BASE.
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $300- $400
$2001 Bid
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ROBERT PEROT - ABSTRACT PLASTER SCULPTURE
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
ROBERT PEROT - ABSTRACT PLASTER SCULPTURE
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Antonio Grediaga Kieff MidCentury Bronze Sculpture
Dec 10, 2:00 PM EST
Antonio Grediaga Kieff MidCentury Bronze Sculpture
by Napoleon's Fine Art
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$5001 Bid
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ARMAN (1928 - 2005) Sans titre - 1997 Violon découpé en bronze à patine dorée ...
Dec 07, 4:30 PM CET
ARMAN (1928 - 2005) Sans titre - 1997 Violon découpé en bronze à patine dorée ...
by Artcurial
Est: €6,000- €8,000
€6,0001 Bid
Molded Plaster Motorcycle 3-D Art Sculpture - Wow!
Dec 09, 10:00 AM CST
Molded Plaster Motorcycle 3-D Art Sculpture - Wow!
by Matthews Auctions, LLC
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
AFTER CARLOS MERIDA BRONZE METAL ABSTRACT SCULPTURE. MODERNIST. SIGNED AND DATED 62
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
AFTER CARLOS MERIDA BRONZE METAL ABSTRACT SCULPTURE. MODERNIST. SIGNED AND DATED 62
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $250- $350
$1751 Bid
PAUL VAN HOEYDONCK (°1925)
Dec 06, 2:00 PM CET
PAUL VAN HOEYDONCK (°1925)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €1,000- €1,250
€7501 Bid
20th Cent. Belgian sculpture in plexi by Mark Vers…
Dec 18, 11:00 AM CET
20th Cent. Belgian sculpture in plexi by Mark Vers…
by DVC
Est: €50- €150
€501 Bid
Vetro Artistico Murano Abstract Sculpture
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Vetro Artistico Murano Abstract Sculpture
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$1251 Bid
Luis Tomasello Geometric Wall Sculpture, 23"H
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Luis Tomasello Geometric Wall Sculpture, 23"H
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,9001 Bid
Christian Thirion Teapot / Tea Cup Sculpture
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Christian Thirion Teapot / Tea Cup Sculpture
by Palm Beach Modern Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$751 Bid
Abstracted Figural Forged Iron Sculpture, 1960s
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Abstracted Figural Forged Iron Sculpture, 1960s
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
6" 926 GRAM LAPIS LAZULI MINERAL FLOWER SCULPTURE
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
6" 926 GRAM LAPIS LAZULI MINERAL FLOWER SCULPTURE
by Imperial Auction
Est: $300- $400
$101 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Expressionist Sculptures


Uniques & Antiques

Uniques & Antiques

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Palm Beach Modern Auctions

Palm Beach Modern Auctions

Cornette de Saint-Cyr-Bruxelles

Cornette de Saint-Cyr-Bruxelles