“Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.” —Auguste Rodin

From the Parthenon frieze and the Easter Island maoi to the Chinese Terracotta Warriors and the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf, sculpture is a medium as diverse as it is ancient. Traditionally worked in natural materials like stone, clay, and metal, sculpture encompasses both free-standing works “in-the-round” and reliefs, often serving as architectural elements. Sharing the viewer’s space more literally than any other medium, sculpture has given rise to some of the most iconic works in art history, including the classical Greek Venus de Milo (c. 130-100 B.C.), Michelangelo’s High Renaissance David (1504), Rodin’s The Thinker (1902), and Constantin Brancusi’s The Kiss (1908). The 20th century saw the explosion of traditional sculpture, wherein virtually any material—like John Chamberlain’s car parts or Marcel Duchamp’s readymades—could be used, as well as the rise of such diverse movements as kinetic sculpture, sound sculpture, environmental art, and Minimalist sculpture.

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