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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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Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Saguaro Cactus
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Saguaro Cactus
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$40010 Bids
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Castellani Enrico, Enrico Castellani pittore. [Milano: Achille Mauri, 1968].
Mar 06, 10:00 AM CET
Castellani Enrico, Enrico Castellani pittore. [Milano: Achille Mauri, 1968].
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Est: €100- €200
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DAVE McGARY (1958-2013) POLYCHROME ENAMELED BRONZE
Feb 24, 12:00 PM CST
DAVE McGARY (1958-2013) POLYCHROME ENAMELED BRONZE
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Dale Chihuly and James Carpenter, Untitled (Illuminated Wall Sculpture)
Feb 21, 11:00 AM EST
Dale Chihuly and James Carpenter, Untitled (Illuminated Wall Sculpture)
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Jordi Bonet Abstract Bronze Sculpture Cadaques
Feb 24, 11:00 AM EST
Jordi Bonet Abstract Bronze Sculpture Cadaques
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Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Saguaro Torch
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Saguaro Torch
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Bob Agnew b.1937 Modern Infinity Wood Sculpture
Feb 28, 12:00 PM EST
Bob Agnew b.1937 Modern Infinity Wood Sculpture
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Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Barrel Cacti
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Richard Turner and Eric Carroll Desert Steel Barrel Cacti
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A welded iron triangles sculpture (H:40cm)
Feb 22, 1:00 PM AEDT
A welded iron triangles sculpture (H:40cm)
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Est: AUD60- AUD80
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Unknown Artist (20th Century): Abstract Figural Group
Feb 22, 9:00 AM PST
Unknown Artist (20th Century): Abstract Figural Group
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Est: $100- $200
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THREE-PIECE METAL WALL SCULPTURE GROUP
Feb 26, 6:00 PM PST
THREE-PIECE METAL WALL SCULPTURE GROUP
by O'Gallerie
Est: $300- $500
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CURTIS JERE, "KALEIDOSCOPE" METAL WALL SCULPTURE.
Feb 23, 10:00 AM EST
CURTIS JERE, "KALEIDOSCOPE" METAL WALL SCULPTURE.
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Est: $300- $500
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DICK POLICH ABSTRACT METAL SCULPTURE
Feb 28, 3:00 PM EST
DICK POLICH ABSTRACT METAL SCULPTURE
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BAKER, Dennis. Opera House (Sailing Past Bennelong Point), Steel Sculpture
Mar 03, 2:00 PM AEDT
BAKER, Dennis. Opera House (Sailing Past Bennelong Point), Steel Sculpture
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Est: AUD100- AUD200
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Vintage Folk Art Driftwood & Copper Sculpture
Feb 24, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Folk Art Driftwood & Copper Sculpture
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Est: $0- $0
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Wire Sculpture Of The Eiffel Tower & (2) Rose
Feb 24, 10:00 AM MST
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(5pc) Southwestern Style Metal Wall Art Sculptures
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Anne Minich "Found Art" Abstract Sculpture
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
Anne Minich "Found Art" Abstract Sculpture
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $200
$301 Bid
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Stephen Robin "Grill" Sculpture
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
Stephen Robin "Grill" Sculpture
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $400- $800
$2001 Bid
Keith and Deanna Clayton, Amber/Marine Blue Vessel
Feb 21, 11:00 AM EST
Keith and Deanna Clayton, Amber/Marine Blue Vessel
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Est: $1,500- $2,000
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2 Stephen Robin Cast Iron Abstract Sculptures
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
2 Stephen Robin Cast Iron Abstract Sculptures
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Two Wall Sculptures of Cars
Feb 22, 9:00 AM PST
Two Wall Sculptures of Cars
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Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Abstract Expressionist Sculptures


Auctions at Showplace

Auctions at Showplace

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Meeting Art Casa D'Aste

Meeting Art Casa D'Aste

Auktionshaus Sieglin GmbH

Auktionshaus Sieglin GmbH