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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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Le CyKlop - Sans Titre
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Le CyKlop - Sans Titre
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Est: €1,000- €1,200
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YAACOV AGAM (ISRAELI B. 1928)
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
YAACOV AGAM (ISRAELI B. 1928)
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Est: $800- $1,000
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Uecker, Günther
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
Uecker, Günther
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Yves KLEIN (1928-1962) - CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ DES ÉDITIONS ET SCULPTURES,
Dec 08, 2:30 PM CET
Yves KLEIN (1928-1962) - CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ DES ÉDITIONS ET SCULPTURES,
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Est: €3,000- €5,000
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Lucien WERCOLLIER 1908 - 2002 CONTRASTES - 1959 Bronze poli
Dec 08, 2:00 PM CET
Lucien WERCOLLIER 1908 - 2002 CONTRASTES - 1959 Bronze poli
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Est: €1,000- €1,500
€1,8002 Bids
ALEXANDER NEY (RUSSIAN B. 1939)
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
ALEXANDER NEY (RUSSIAN B. 1939)
by Shapiro Auctions LLC
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
(2) Clear Abstract Figural Geometric Sculptures
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
(2) Clear Abstract Figural Geometric Sculptures
by Sarasota Estate Auction
Est: $60- $120
$301 Bid
ANTONI MIRALDA (1942, Terrassa) [Spagna] senza titolo, 1971
Dec 05, 10:30 AM CET
ANTONI MIRALDA (1942, Terrassa) [Spagna] senza titolo, 1971
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Est: €1,000- €1,500
€5001 Bid
ALEXANDER NEY (RUSSIAN B. 1939)
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
ALEXANDER NEY (RUSSIAN B. 1939)
by Shapiro Auctions LLC
Est: $700- $900
$3501 Bid
ORIANI: Bronze & Glass Relief Sculpture
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
ORIANI: Bronze & Glass Relief Sculpture
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $50- $75
$301 Bid
DEL PEZZO LUCIO (n. 1933) Centrotavola.
Dec 07, 11:00 AM CET
DEL PEZZO LUCIO (n. 1933) Centrotavola.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €200- €300
€501 Bid
DEL PEZZO LUCIO (n. 1933) Centrotavola.
Dec 07, 11:00 AM CET
DEL PEZZO LUCIO (n. 1933) Centrotavola.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €200- €300
€501 Bid
CORNER PHILIP (n. 1933) Kalapa Klappers.
Dec 07, 11:00 AM CET
CORNER PHILIP (n. 1933) Kalapa Klappers.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €300- €500
€501 Bid
Will Grant "Flame" Abstract Acrylic Sculpture
Dec 05, 12:00 PM EST
Will Grant "Flame" Abstract Acrylic Sculpture
by Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1001 Bid
Bill MACK: "Reflection" - Relief Wall Sculpture
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Bill MACK: "Reflection" - Relief Wall Sculpture
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid
ARMAN (1928-2005) - PIZZAIOLA, 2004
Dec 08, 2:30 PM CET
ARMAN (1928-2005) - PIZZAIOLA, 2004
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Est: €4,000- €6,000
€4,0001 Bid
CESAR (1921-1998) - CŒUR ECLATE, 1986
Dec 08, 2:30 PM CET
CESAR (1921-1998) - CŒUR ECLATE, 1986
by Cornette de Saint-Cyr
Est: €500- €700
€5001 Bid
CESAR (1921-1998) - CŒUR ECLATE, 1986
Dec 08, 2:30 PM CET
CESAR (1921-1998) - CŒUR ECLATE, 1986
by Cornette de Saint-Cyr
Est: €500- €700
€5001 Bid
Roy L Gussow Abstract Steel Sculpture
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Roy L Gussow Abstract Steel Sculpture
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Expressionist Sculptures


Artcurial

Artcurial

Cornette de Saint-Cyr

Cornette de Saint-Cyr

Picenum

Picenum

Grisebach

Grisebach