Time and Movement in Modernist Sculpture

1150 Words5 Pages
Movement and time have been in many ways ever-present in sculpture. In the era of modernism, however, movement and time evolved from mere descriptive attributes, into concerted preoccupations of artists creating sculpture. After the commencement of Modernism in the late 1800s, scientific developments permeated, and influenced cultural understanding of motion, time and mass. Sculpture was then able to be reduced to more mechanical, minimal forms, specifically pertaining to concepts of movement and time. It is important to state early on, that time and movement in sculpture are impossible to discuss without the inclusion and acknowledgement of space. I will be examining the works and principles of the Futurist, Umberto Boccioni, and Kinetic artist and Constructivist, Naum Gabo. Their work exemplifies the incorporation of time and movement in Modernist sculpture. Gabo and Boccioni were significant figures in modernist sculpture, as both incorporated and developed visual languages, which not only convey the semblance and implication of time and movement, but also intrinsically acknowledge the philosophy and theory. Throughout the 20th Century, artists began to abstract, and some eventually eradicated human anatomy and recognizable characteristics from their experiments. Gabo, in particular, studied and theorized the unity of all visible forms, and of the existence of aesthetic ones in accordance with physical and mathematical laws. In order to effectively understand the evolution of movement and time within modernist sculpture, we must first examine the integral developments which paved the way for its progression. Conceptually, movement, whether as an aesthetic principle, or as a physical action, must relate to an object, to a mass, to a substance that embodies an internal sense of movement, or that which moves through space. Motion, time and space were
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