Archives for category: Media

Dutch artist Woody van Amen studied at the Rotterdam Academy and taught there from 1970 onwards. He was a pioneer of abstract assemblage sculpture and pop art in its materialized concrete form. In 1961, he spent the entire year and the following year residing in America. Van Amen was able to draw inspiration from the legendary pop artist Andy Warhol during his stay in the United States. This gave him the thrust he needed to manifest his pursuit for pop art in sculpture. He came to the Netherlands after this trip and began working on his own style of assemblage sculpture. Despite his current popularity, he started out as humble as artists go by. One of his first works; Electric Chair (1964) wasn’t considered as art by the public and instead was seen as a medium whose intention was merely to mock.

Woody van Amen Assemblage Art

In the 1970’s he traveled to both Southeast Asia and Switzerland to gain an oriental pull of influence for his sculptures. In 1993, he received the Chabot Prize from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds or Prince Bernhard Culture Fund). In 2003, he also visited Singapore after recovering from a grave illness. It was there where he came across some Chinese flashcards signifying specific characters like Shuangxi or “doube happiness”. This observance directly influenced his style as well and played an important role in his development as an abstract artist.


A native of Düsseldorf, Norbert Kricke is a fine example of abstract sculpture in the non-figurist sense. Abstract sculpture can be classified into several sub-categories, but mainly fall into two types; representational and non-representational. Despite his works being frequently described as non-reresentational abstract sculpture, Kricke’s various organic forms are inspired by the subject matter of water and nature. His pin-like metal wires are a popular twist to the standardized wire armature pieces one may see in many artist studios. Kricke’s famous sculpture, “Water Forest” lies outside of the Gelsenkirchen Opera House.

Kricke steel sculpture

Kricke has created several grand pieces for famous people and locales, but among his roster of projects, his fountain art sculptures in the University of Baghdad stand out as prime examples of his undying passion for the abstract arts. Throughout his lifetime, his works have circled around continents, being displayed at various galleries such as the Galerie Rothe in Frankfurt and the Neues Museum Weimar. The Daimler Chrysler Contemporary Museum in Berlin also carries a permanent collection of his.

Among the many talented metalsmiths around the world, several of them are descendants of Asian regions. Chunghi Choo who studied in Ewha Women’s University in Seoul eventually became a very famous abstract modernist who takes pride in her manipulated metal jewelry and sculpture. Choo also studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan where she completed he Masters degree in Art. Combining the traditional techniques of weaving, metalsmithing and ceramics, Choo has an upper edge in the hybrid creation of her contemporary artworks. Much of her creative output centers on an inspiration from fashion and utility design in my opinion. Her silver and chrome plated compositions seem to be rooted in some elements of industrial design, yet contain a special deviance of curvatures and links.

Chunghi Choo Sculpture

Sculpture by Ching Hi Choo – Photography by Piers Bertrand

Choo became a teacher at the University of Iowa’s School of Art in 1968 and was recognized as the F.Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Art there as well. Her exhibition venues include the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Danish Museum of Art and Design and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has grown as both an instructor and an artist who not only receives praise for her own works of abstract modernism, but also finds the satisfaction of having several of her students win in nationwide competitions. Choo is a role-model in the practice of modern art and is one of the pioneering contemporary sculptors of the media.

Wire sculpture isn’t a new technological development or anything, it’s been around for hunreds of years. With so many various applications in technology, fashion and other fields, the manipulation of wire contours vastly outnumbers its applications singularly for art. Today though, many new designers seek to create a new way of representing this media within the world of sculpture. One vividly illustrative way is the application of wire sculpture into jewelry. Jewelry based on wire mesh, string-type or flat-type is a fairly common sight at trade fairs, competitions and even exhibitions. Modern styles dictate that the usage of stand-alone wire designs are much more accepted today than they were in the previous decades. These days, the trends go for a highly metal or silvery tone, bypassing the absolute rule of traditional gem and gold-based jewelers.

wire sculpture

At this point, wire sculpture has also made its way into original figurative art pieces. Several personalities create wire figures by coiling or meshing a group of wires into the silhouette or exact shape of a subject. In the past, this may have been referred to a building an armature. Armatures are traditionally made to support cast sculptures when in their final phase of completion. Armature were also used as support units for clay modeling (especially with oil based clay.) Wire has outgrown these component functions and evolved into its own artistic media, allowing it to stand alone against a sea of rival materials. The growing number of wire artists just proves even more that any media despite its history, can still rise up and create something truly breathtaking and beautiful.