Sculpture has long been dominated by figurative works focused on historical, religious, literary, and social themes. Whereas sculpted works made of materials such as stone or wood attain their shape through a reductive process, that is, by taking material away, the form of other types of sculpture is created via an additive process, by building up.
Further development into space
In light of abstract trends and the expansion of the canon of materials in the course of the twentieth century, the subject of “space” has taken on greater importance in sculpture. Space as such has no material quality and is thus not accessible to any of our five senses; it is invisible, and we can neither touch nor hear, smell, or taste it. It only becomes concrete, that is, imaginable and perceptible, through a three-dimensional object that occupies space due to its mass and volume and relates to its surroundings.
Artists associated with Minimal Art in the 1960s contributed considerable impulses for the advancement of sculpture. Their “specific objects,” simple elemental forms created using industrial materials and production methods oriented on a human scale, made space capable of being physically experienced for the first time. They confront the viewer with their immediate presence and make space literally tangible in relation to its surroundings. Experiences from the fields of dance, theater, and performance likewise flow into the artistic concepts, redefining the relationship between representation, the viewer, and space.
The works by Ulla von Brandenburg, Camill Leberer, and Ülkü Süngün demonstrate the diversity of contemporary sculptural positions. Along with more traditional sculptural works, they include installations and performative aspects that have a common a frame of reference in the stage-like. In them, space, which is also cultural and social space, plays an essential role.