The term sculpture can cover a vast array of art objects. A very broad definition of the word sculpture would state that it is a three-dimensional object. It is not uncommon to see these almost everywhere. When most people hear the term, they most commonly think of statues, and that would be correct. However, there are many different styles and types. Typically, they can be placed into two basic types; additive and subtractive. Additive is when mediums are used together to form a piece, and subtractive is when mediums or materials are removed to form a completed piece.
Probably the most common type of sculpture would be a statue. These, anyone can point out. Most likely the most notable one would be the Statue of Liberty, welcoming all who crossed the Atlantic to the shores of the United States. Another iconic statue would be the one of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands. The list is really endless of easily recognizable statues. Other types of sculpture are architectural, kinetic, sound, and environmental, just to name a few examples.
An architectural sculpture is easy to find. They are an intricate part of the architecture of the building itself. The pieces may be part of the architecture, or they may be free standing on the building. This type of work has been around for thousands of years. There are great examples if one was to look at ancient Egyptian or Roman architecture. There are present day examples on many judicial and government buildings as well as cathedrals.
Kinetic is another type that is more interactive, meaning, it moves or requires movement for its completed presentation. The movement may be generated by the wind, water, observer or a motor. Two common examples of this type of art are mobiles and water features. A lighted piece, whether it manipulates or produces light, also falls under this category. That is because light, whether it’s from the sun, a light bulb, or any other source, is needed for the piece to be a complete presentation.
A sound piece would be very similar to a light piece. The definition of a sound piece would be a piece that either produces sound or manipulates it. The piece may be a simple structure, but when it makes its sound, it is only then that the piece is actually completed. This may be achieved by a motor, observer, wind, or water. An example of a sound piece would be wind chimes or even some mobiles. However, there are much larger scale works that have been completed.
Environmental is another example. This can cover a variety of work as well and is sometimes called land art, environmental installation, or urban environment. In this case, the environment is altered in some way, either added too or taken away to form the piece. Typically, environmental pieces are large enough to encompass the viewer for a total experience. Sometimes pieces are created for the environment in which they will be placed. Many artists that do this type of work will actually create the piece in that environment, almost using the setting as their studio. Other artists change or alter the environment by adding landscape, rock clusters, terraces, or paths to create and enrich the space.