Research: Sculpture with Plaster
Artsy’s ten most popular living sculptors (based on user follows) are a range of artists at the top of their craft, from found object magician Damián Ortega to the ever-mindbending Anish Kapoor. Though many also work on a smaller scale, the artists on our list defy the convention of sculpture as standalone, constructing often-expansive works that respond to or reflect their environments. As the fourth-position Rachel Whitereadonce said, “I don’t want to make plop art—sculpture that just gets plopped down in places.”
David Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. His quick-witted drawings and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings like snippets of over-heard conversations. Reoccurring themes and thoughts pervade his story telling capturing child-like views of the world, the perspective of aliens and monsters or the compulsive habits of an eavesdropper shouting out loud. While drawing is at the centre of his practice, the artist also works across an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music. Shrigley consistently seeks to widen his public by operating frequently outside the gallery sphere such as in prolific artist publications and collaborative music projects. In 2012 he co-authored a ‘sort-of-opera’ titled ‘Pass the Spoon’, and more recently he transformed the Gallery at Sketch café in London as part of a long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants.
Plaster was the prized medium of some of the early 20th century’s most revered designers, among them Jean Michel Frank, Serge Roche and Giacometti. Today, celebrated plaster artisan Stephen Antonson, crowned the master of plaster by Architectural Digest, reintroduces the age-old medium to the interior design trade in his collection of furnishings, lighting and accessories.
Working out of his Brooklyn, New York atelier, Antonson creates every piece by hand. He paints plaster onto his designs in layers with a brush, then meticulously sculpts and sands it repeatedly to achieve objects of surreal beauty. A classically trained sculptor and painter, the engaging designer taps into his broad knowledge of these disciplines to inform his work. He has recently added bronze to his offerings. Antonson welcomes collaboration; he has worked with dozens of clients to create original one-of-a-kind, custom pieces.