Art That Conveys Meaning Using No Words: 20 Awe-Inspiring Sculptures

Sculptures are one of the ways to express our creativity, ideologies, and perception of the world in a particular time or place in history. Statues occupy real space as we do; you walk around them and relate to it almost as another person or another object. They are defined as a three-dimensional form of visual arts that come from ancient Greece. 

Nowadays, we enjoy prominent sculptures that date back from the gothic and middle ages or the Renaissance period, and we have to say that some of them are so marvelous that they speak louder than a thousand words. Some artists have set the bar higher when it comes to these artistic creations, and today we have some great examples. Take a look at this fascinating compilation of creative sculptures! 

1. Expansion in New York

This astonishing figure is the creation of Paige Bradley, an American sculptor well-known for her representative figurative bronzes. She became famous thanks to her sculpture concept called Expansion, which is a bronze and electricity work that depicts a woman in a cross-legged posture and cracks around her body through which light emanates. It conveys the enlargement of our selves after breaking the "container" that was built for us. Gorgeous!

2. Mustangs in Texas

Keeping on, we have a dynamic piece by Robert Glen that decorates Williams Square in Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. It portrays a herd of 1.5 times life-size horses running through the watercourse. Some fountains on the water give the effect of splashes that the animals' hooves create. You might have already noticed it, but these wonderful creatures represent cowboys' best friends in old Texas. The sculpture also commemorates the Mustangs who were important inhabitants of Texas in ancient times.

3. Transcendence in Oregon

It is hard to tell what this creation is about solely by its name, but the image is pretty clear. The sculpture depicts a salmon flying through Southpark Seafood's building on Southwest Salmon Street in Portland, Oregon. Artist Keith Jellum hand forged and welded it in bronze to create awareness about the effect of global warming on the reduction of aquatic species living in freshwater bodies that might ultimately lead to their extinction.

4. Fairy Sculpture Dancing with Dandelion in the UK

The beauty of this artwork is beyond explanation, and maybe that is why it is considered the most stunning modern-day sculpture. Robin Wright is the UK-based mastermind behind this work made of stainless steel wire. A number of these enchanting and dynamic fairies are on display at the Trentham Gardens. They all talk about the good old days when individuals enjoyed nature more.

5. Non-Violence in New York

Well, the name and the bronze sculpture itself transmit a very straightforward message: say no to brutality. Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd created an oversized Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver with a knotted barrel and the muzzle pointing upwards. Non-Violence was inspired by the murder of singer and peace activist John Lennon, and in 1993, it became the symbol of the Non-Violence Project, an NGO that fosters social change.

6. God of War in China

Two years ago, the Asian country unveiled the colossal sculpture in Jingzhou city's park in the Hubei province. The representation of Guan Yu, the God of War, stands at 48 meters and weighs 1320 tons, and it celebrates the warrior as well as revolving around the concept of righteousness, which is a trait in the Chinese character. Others say the sculpture impersonates the powerful armies and kingdoms that the country has had. 

7. Colossus in Florence, Italy

Just its name says it all because "Colossus" literally means extremely great in size and ability. The well-known Italian sculptor Giambologna erected this epic, giant half-man and half-mountain in the late 1500s as a symbol of Italy's rugged Apennine mountains. What is surprising about this mount god is that it hides a wonderful secret: it has several rooms in his interior that almost make it come to life with their function.

8. Vicissitudes in Grenada, Spain

Jason deCaires Taylor is a British sculptor and the mastermind behind the world's first underwater sculpture park and museum: the Molinere. In there, one can find the mentioned sculpture, which is a great view for those who love art, scuba diving, and nature; it couldn't be better. With his creations, Jason wants to reflect the positive side of human intervention and the favorable interaction we can have with the environment.

9. Mihai Eminescu in Romania

This one is dubbed as one of the most creative sculptures in the European continent, and we couldn't agree more. The notable artwork represents the face of a lady, Romanian romantic poet Mihai Eminescu, which is made by trees. It dates from the early 1930s and is the work of another Romanian sculptor, Oscar Han. For some people, the creation talks about female empowerment and the equality between genders. 

10. Les Voyageurs in Marseilles, France

All those who have been immigrants in their lives will understand the meaning of Bruno Catalano's sculpture, which literally translates "the travelers". The French artist created a set of bronze voyageurs; all of them have a suitcase, and a part of their bodies is missing. This, for many, means the portion of themselves that people leave once they start a new journey, and that is what makes these statues so beautifully imperfect.

11. Hippo Square in Taipei, Taiwan

The marvelous bronze statues of the giant animals are located in Taipei zoo. The idea just came up as a concept to complement the African Animal Area of the place. But now the hippos are considered one of the facility’s signature nonliving attractions that seem to be coming out of the ground as if it was water. The sculptures are a great way to be in contact with the creatures without causing harm to them. 

12. Break Through From Your Mold in Philadelphia

We love the name and the message this sculpture coveys. Artist Zenos Frudakis created this 7,000-pound masterpiece in 2001, and about it, he stated, "I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for the achievement of freedom through the creative process."

13. De Vaartkapoen in Brussels

This Belgium statue is quite hilarious, and the credit goes to the Belgian artist and sculptor Tom Frantzen. It humorously depicts a toppling policeman because he is being tripped by a "rogue of the canal" hidden in a sewer manhole. It was created in 1985, and you can find it in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Belgium. Are you wondering what it represents? Well, it talks about the youth making the authority stumble. 

14. Sinking Building in Melbourne, Australia

The local council commissioned the curious piece of art as part of the city's art program, and it lies on Swanston Street, right in front of The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, which is a historical landmark with architectural significance. The sculpture is a library that has sunken by the weight of books, with only the top corner of the building peeking out from the pavement. Petrus Spronk has merit for this amazing Architectural Fragment. 

15. Inner Children Trapped Inside Adult Bodies in Nevada

Burning Man Festival occurs every year in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock desert. Some years ago, Ukrainian artist Alexander Milov stunned everyone with a sculpture featuring the wire-frames of two adults sitting back to back. What is curious is that they both have their lit-up inner children trying to reach out to each other from within. It shows a struggle between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expressions of human nature.  

16. Black Ghost in Klaipeda, Lithuania

We wouldn't like to see this bronze sculpture at night because it depicts a creepy ghostly silhouette that seems to be stepping out of the water via the shoreline near a castle remains, just passing the swing bridge. Sculpted by Sergejus Plotnikovas and Svajunas Jurkus, the mysterious faceless shape is holding a lantern in one hand while his sinister fingers grip the dock. Surprisingly, it is based on a legend about a friendly spirit.

17. The Rain Man in Florence, Italy

Known in Italian as L’uomo Della Pioggia’, The Rain Man is a bronze sculpture of the talented Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folonof. It is a three-meter male figure underneath the umbrella that rains on him. You can find it on a roundabout near the Varlungo Bridge in the gorgeous city of Florence. The sculptor gifted this contemporary masterpiece to the city in 2002.

18. The Caring Hand in Glarus, Switzerland

We cannot get enough of outdoor art, and this incredible piece is the work of Eva Oertli and Beat Huber. This sculpture rising from the ground and gently wrapping its fingers around a tree is grossly underestimated, but it sends an important message of care and environmental responsibility. Moreover, it is no coincidence that The Caring Hand is located in a town where democracy is practiced by raising that part of the body.

19. Raindrop in Ukraine

Ukrainian artist Nazar Bilyk came up with the idea of a remarkable 6-foot tall sculpture of a man using bronze and a large glass raindrop suspended on the figure’s face while he looks up toward the sky. For many, it symbolizes the delicate relationship between the man and nature, whereas others see it as a representation of the inner dialogue of a man with himself. What do you think?

20. Diminish and Ascend in Bondi, Australia

This sculptural installation of a stairway to heaven is by artist David McCracken that, when looked from specific angles, seems to be a never-ending staircase. If you go to the sea in Bondi, that eye-catching outdoor piece of art will certainly get your attention. It may represent the long path to success, while many people consider it has a more spiritual meaning behind it. We guess it all depends on perspective.

As we could see, sculptures are far from being ordinary visual art. Some artists have gone beyond standards to wow us and inspire us with their masterpieces. Which one was your favorite? We would love to know your opinion, so do not hesitate to drop a message in the comment section and share this fantastic article with lovers of art you might know. Until next time! 

Sources used: Weekend Notes, My Modern Met, Zenos Frudakis, Communicating Across BoundariesMy Modern Met, Bored Panda, Under Water Sculpture, Bored Panda, Earth PormMy Modern Met, Walk Inside Florence, House of Switzerland

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