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Collecting Sculptures

5 tips to get started

The essence of sculpture is for me the perception of space, the continuum of our existence.

— Isamu Noguchi

When starting an art collection, most people gravitate towards paintings and other framed works to enliven their walls. However, it is important not to overlook sculpture as a potentially wonderful addition to your collection and your home. Pablo Picasso referred to the practice of sculpting as “the art of intelligence", yet many have been hesitant to venture into the realm of the three-dimensional and its endless possibilities. Today, there are countless captivating art objects available in a variety of materials, sizes, and price ranges to suit any budget. So whether you are collecting art for investment purposes, as an object of decoration, or out of a passion for beauty, a sculpture can be a true statement piece in your collection! Are you still tentative? We have assembled 5 tips to keep in mind when venturing into the world of sculpture:

Set a Budget

As with any art purchase, it can be easy to get carried away when buying sculptures. Therefore, first take the time to realistically examine your finances and decide what you can afford in which time frame. By setting aside a certain budget for adding sculptures to your collection you have the flexibility to operate within that budget. Maybe you will buy one amazing piece and spend it all in one go, or maybe you’d rather take it slow and add more variety with smaller, lower-priced artworks in different media. However, always keep in mind: quality over quantity!

If you are on a smaller budget but would still like to add a sculptural statement piece to your collection, perhaps look into limited editions. Pieces that are cast sometimes come in smaller batches that are still a great value investment due to their limited numbers. This can be a good way to start exploring the three-dimensional and to see how it works in your space and collection. 

Know the Techniques

Much like for their two-dimensional counterparts the possibilities and materials to create three-dimensional artworks are endless. From casting in bronze, to hand cutting or carving wood, to moulding ceramics, or working with resin. By getting informed on what each medium has to offer and familiarizing yourself with the techniques, you will develop the eye to spot a truly special work of art. Discover which materials speak to you and learn about its specific qualities, what the market has to offer, and what is a reasonable price range, before making your first purchase. 

In my opinion, everything, every shape, every bit of natural form, animals, people, pebbles, shells, anything you like are all things that can help you to make a sculpture.

— Henry Moore

Consider the Space

One of the main advantages of sculpture over painting is that a three-dimensional object offers you a new perspective and aesthetic experience from each angle. This brings us to another important point to take into consideration: space. When choosing a work of art, take into consideration the space this piece will take up in your home or wherever else you house your collection. Do you have a villa with three meter high ceilings? Then an imposing large-scale work may be the right thing for you to truly make use of that space. Do you live in an apartment building with a rich collection of art and other objects but you have a bit of dead space to fill? Then maybe consider something smaller, yet impactful to give it the room it needs to shine. 

I consider space to be a material. The articulation of space has come to take precedence over other concerns. I attempt to use sculptural form to make space distinct.

— Richard Serra

Think About the Display 

To make your sculpture stand out as the work of art that it is and not disappear in the corner like another piece of clutter, it is important to think about the display. Can you admire the piece from different angles? Does it need a plinth to elevate it properly? Does it draw in the gaze and stand out? Maybe consider getting some special spots with soft lighting to make it a true highlight in your space and collection. If you are unsure how to stage your piece, pay extra attention in galleries and museums to how they display their sculptures. This may give you some viable ideas that you recreate on a smaller scale in your home. 

Integrate Sculptures Into Your Collection

If you’ve been in the collecting game for a while, but this is your first venture into the three-dimensional world of sculptures, the prospect can be daunting. Especially when it comes to how to integrate them into your existing art collection. Therefore carefully consider what aesthetic forms of expression usually speak to you. What colour palettes - perhaps you love minimal black and white or earthy tones? Or do you rather have a thing for extremely vibrant pieces? - these sensibilities easily translate to sculpture and choosing a piece in line with what you already have will make the transition feel natural and the object effortlessly an integral part of your collection. 

If you are still hesitant, there are many artists who gently push the boundaries between the two- and three-dimensional. Who create works that perhaps have a canvas base, but extend into space and take on real tactile and physical qualities. 

Whatever your reservations may be, set them aside today and venture into the world of sculpture! The possibilities are endless and delving into this rich universe you are sure to discover new artworks and genres you’ll love. Browse our carefully curated Sculpture Collection to get started today. 

BROWSE THE COLLECTION



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Sources: Maddox Gallery, The Artling, Sybaris Collection, Widewalls