Best sculptures in the United States you asked? Well, these are the best-sculpted Art pieces in the US.
These are the marvels of Art and Imagination some are the best then the others but all of them are best in their own right.
First up is the most recent sculpture on the list. Echelman’s works are made from galvanized steel and polyester twine netting. This one, the title of which derives from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is suspended above Civic Space Park at Arizona State University and moves with the wind, a process Echelman deems “wind choreography,” which simulates a cumulus cloud. At night, it is lit with colored lights, giving it the air of a giant jellyfish or a terrestrial version of the aurora borealis. For more on Echelman’s vision, view her TED Talk.
Cerny is a Czech sculptor who specializes in big heads and controversy. His TowerBabies is a work installed on the 709-feet tall Zizkov Television Tower in Prague. As the name implies, it’s a series of cast bronze infants climbing the main tower. Another sculpture in Prague features two nude men facing each other, peeing. It’s a fountain, naturally. But Metalmorphosis, at Charlotte’s Whitehall Technology Park, is something else entirely, a fountain made of multiple slices of reflective stainless steel plates that rotate independently. When they align, the plates form a man’s head that is 30 feet tall. The layers move in different directions, forming patterns that become familiar upon repeated viewings. Want to see it in action? Check it out on YouTube. You can just picture the local kids hanging out and getting high watching this thing.
From a distance, these giant folk art structures look like steampunk Christmas trees. All together there are 17 structures, and two of them are 99 feet tall. Essentially, the towers are made of found objects—the detritus of urban life, such as bed frames, bottles, and steel pipes. They spiral into the sky, a lacey exoskeleton that is at once futuristic and medieval. Rodia wrapped some of the towers with wire mesh and coated them with mortar, embedding in them little bits of ceramic, sea shells, soda bottles, and especially broken pottery from the factories nearby. It’s a bit like a DIY Sagrada Familia.
Like many eccentrics, Rodia was not well-loved by his neighbors, and he left in 1955, permanently fed up with their scorn over his artistic vision in 1955. The structures came perilously close to being razed, but posterity won out and they were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. As the work of one untrained man, the Watts Towers are a monument to bringing one’s vision to fruition.
Chicago’s public art scene has so many famous images to choose from: Buckingham Memorial Fountain, Calder’s Flamingo stabile, the Chicago Picasso, Dubuffet’s Monument with Standing Beast, etc. You have to admire the city’s commitment to art in public spaces, no matter how you feel about post-modern metal monstrosities. With the inauguration of Millennium Park in 1004, the city’s residents have a host of new sculptures to enjoy. The most recent favorite statue is Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. A shiny metal bean arising from a concrete plaza, Cloud Gate attracts visitors like a picnic does ants. You want to touch it, gaze into it, whip out your iPhone and take all sorts of pictures as you walk around and through it. You stare at the reflection of your surroundings, picking out details you never noticed before. It’s art with looking-glass precision, kind of like the world’s biggest bathroom mirror: reapply your lipstick, check for parsley in your teeth!
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