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12 Stunning Giant Steel Artworks

2 February 2011 No Comment

Steel has become one of the top materials that one can use in civil engineering projects as well as other huge necessities that are needed to run a society. However, during the turn of the century while massive steel projects are sprouting from left to right, the beacons of the art world have realised that steel can be used in creating masterpieces that are going to make a mark in world history.

Stainless steel is the top choice of many artists and sculptors with the ease of handling and durability. Steel has opened the doors of countless possibilities for design and prestige.

1. Flamingo by Alexander Calder


Flamingo was created by Alexander Calder. This American sculptor and artist was able to create this masterpiece in 1974. It is located in the Federal Plaza in Chicago and was commissioned under the US General Services Administration.

Alexander Calder was able to utilise stainless steel to become a 53 feet tall structure of pure art. Its distinct vermillion color makes it very prominent among the black glass buildings in the area. This is one of his few abstract stationary artworks. It may not be a literal shape of a flamingo but the sheer size and the shape of the structure is able to touch the human mind in many ways.


2. Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons


Jeff Koons has been very famous for his giant steel structures. The American artist is able to create stainless steel animals in their balloon form. The most famous image done by Jeff Koons is the Balloon Dog. It is a stainless steel giant structure that has a mirror finish.

His Balloon Dog sculptures were made and displayed in various places from 1994 to 2000. They are made of stainless steel that are painted with bright colors and are more than ten feet tall. Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog is considered as one of the best pop art in history.


3. Tilted Arc by Richard Serra


Tilted Arc was a sculpture that was created by Richard Serra as commissioned by the United States General Services Administration. It is situated at the Federal Plaza in New York. The Tilted Arc was made in 1981 but dismantled after some discussions in 1989. It was made of steel that measured 120 feet long and 12 feet high.

The sculpture demonstrates contraction and expansion as a result of the viewer’s movement. It was dismantled after complaints of it being an eyesore, an inconvenient structure to walk around, and the cost that was used to build it.


4. The Matter of Time by Richard Serra


Richard Serra’s The Matter of Time is an installation that is found at the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. His work is considered as one of the best in his time. A classic steel worker, Richard Serra mastered the art of working with steel for sculptures of a magnanimous size.

He has exemplified power and grace at the same time in his work which has made him an epic artist in his time and among his colleagues. The Matter of Time that is made of sheet steel occupies a space in the Guggenheim that measures 430 feet and 80 feet wide.


5. La Grande Vitesse


La Grande Vitesse is another of Alexander Calder’s works of steel. He painted it in bright red which was later to be known as the calder red. The 43 feet tall steel structure is located in the plaza near the City Hall of Grand Rapids in Michigan, United States.

It is the first art work that was commissioned by the Art in Public Places Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. It was first created in France and then assembled right on the plaza. The title of the sculpture is a French name for the great swiftness.


6. Wind Comb by Eduardo Chillida


Eduardo Chillida created his masterpiece Wind Comb in the bay of San Sebastian right on the foot of Mouunt Igeldo. He built this in 1977 and it is one of the iconic structures in the area. It has three pieces of steel that are just anchored above the rocks and surrounded by the clear sea.

It is regarded as one of the best sculptures that show harmony between art and natural landscape. Forty years of the Wind Comb was celebrated in 2007 by the Basque Town and Government with many activities, entertainment and tours.


7. Cage II by Walter de Maria


For Walter de Maria, Cage II was a sculpture that made cages elegant and at the same time gave it an abstract feel. It is very easy to look at. A space that was enclosed by steel bars yet it also serves as a portrait of sorts.

It was a remake from the original Cage that was made of wood commissioned by John Cage. In 1961, Cage II was one of the pioneers of minimal art using steel in the decade of the 60s. An artist and a musician, John Cage, inspired the sculpture and up to this day, it is a sought after piece in the art world.


8. The Angel of the North by Anthony Gormley


The Angel of the North by Anthony Gormley is found at Gateshead in England and is considered as a top contemporary sculpture that is made of steel. It is an angel standing 20 meters tall with wings that span up to 54 meters.

The wings are angled so that it depicts a sense of embrace that warms the soul. The Angel of the North is on top of a hill of Low Fell overlooking the A1 and A167 roads. The construction of The Angel of the North started in 1994 and it cost £1M.


9. The Chicago Picasso by Pablo Picasso


The Chicago Picasso by Pablo Picasso is the sculpture that is standing 50 feet tall is unpainted, three dimensional and is made of corrosive tensile steel. It has a protective coating of iron oxide. It is the most famous Chicago sculptures and it is situated in the Civic Center Plaza. It was unveiled in August 15, 1967.

It has then become a tourist spot and the pioneer for many other steel sculptures in the city that mark the city as a center for contemporary urban art. The Chicago Picasso is now located at the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago, Illinois.


10. Linear Construction in Space, No. 4 by Naum Gabo


Naum Gabo built the Linear Construction in Space No. 4 in the year 1962. The American sculptor was able to bend and use stainless steel with bronze and piano wire to create something that can be a symbol of the emergence of steel in the art world. His natural inclination towards the arts is very apparent along with his natural science and engineering interests as well.

Through the Linear Construction in Space No. 4, Naum Gabo was able to make his commitment to the avant garde movement.


11. Phoenix by Alexandra Wejchert


Phoenix by Alexandra Wejchert is one of the best huge steel structural art in history. This artwork is regarded as one of the best free flowing steel art and is found in the University of Limerick in Ireland. Wejchert has made a name for herself and for her country and made history in the world of steel and art.

The abstract work done by Wejchert in steel gave her international accolade as well as a boost for her homeland. This is her work that earned her a lot of requests to have an artwork done for prestigious landmarks.


12. Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor


The Cloud Gate is one of the iconic structures in Chicago. It is the focal point of the AT&T Plaza in the Millennium Park within Chicago, Illionois. It was built between 2004 and 2006 and is fondly called the bean by the locals because of its bean like shape.

It is made of 168 stainless steel plates that were welded all together to create this masterpiece. It measures 33 feet by 66 feet by 42 feet and weights 110 tons.According to Anish Kappor, the shape of the Cloud Gate was inspired by the natural shape that mercury takes when it is in the open.


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