Defining Sculpture: Beyond the Expanded Field

By Robert Huber.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The meaning of space has been re-evaluated in many academic disciplines. This paper wants to investigate the role of space in sculptural production. In opposition to thoughts, which reject the fundamental interrelation of space and sculpture, the author proposes a definition of sculptural practice as intervention in spatial relations. Sculpture, therefore, is defined as the outcome of interaction between sculptor and space.
Changes in sculptural production are consequently not seen as results of individual lived experience or changing conditions of production, but first of all as results of a changing conception of space. This makes it possible to identify a common nature of sculpture, despite the radical ruptures and the apparently disparate developments in the spatial arts. Furthermore, the suggested definition of sculptural practice enables the investigation of the role of sculpture in physical, virtual, social and other forms of space.
In order to illustrate the proposed definition of sculpture and to contextualise it in the contemporary artistic landscape, the paper will compare concepts and artworks such as: Joseph Beuys’ ‘Social Sculpture’, to Rosalind Krauss’ ‘Sculpture in the Expanded Field’.

Keywords: Sculpture, Space, Practice, Form, Medium

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.67-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 619.577KB).

Robert Huber

PhD Student, Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Robert Huber was born in Aulendorf, Germany in 1975. Trained as a stone carver, he eventually enrolled at the Art Academy of Carrara, Italy, where he graduated in 2005. In the same year Robert started his MFA (International Practice) at UCCA Canterbury, where he realised his masters-project travelling between England and Prague, Czech Republic. He was granted a research scholarship from the University of Ulster in 2008 where he is currently writing on his PhD on contemporary sculpture. Having been trained as a craftsman and academic artist, Robert Huber now works as sculptor, curator and researcher. In his sculptural practice he is interrogating space as an arena of social interaction. His attempt is to explore the extent to which it is possible to manipulate this space, whether in a physical, social or political sense.

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