Agents Of Change: Plastic. Or How Plastic Became An Era-Defining Material, Benedetta Ricci, δημοσίευση στο Artland MagazineMarilena Pateraki
“Materials in sculpture play one of the fundamental roles. The genesis of a sculpture is determined by its materials. Materials establish the emotional foundations of a sculpture, give it a basic accent and determine the limits of its aesthetical action”. Naum Gabo
In a world that depends on plastics whilst simultaneously and tragically drowning in it, it sounds incredible that barely a hundred years ago plastic was the most innovative of materials.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the world of synthetic chemistry began to boom, in particular to replace expensive natural materials like horn, amber, shellac, and tortoiseshell, to later become – in the aftermath of World War II – an integral part of everyday life as well as the iconic material of the century.
Low-cost and versatile, plastics have immediately drawn the attention of artists with a penchant for the exploration of new materials and techniques to develop revolutionary means of expression. They are light, easy to cut and to shape in the most versatile ways, rigid or flexible, transparent or opaque, coloured or not; for this reason they have been extremely intriguing for sculptors whom they allow to enhance the effects of light and space. There is no synthetic compound that has not been used as a contemporary art material, whether as a support, a medium, or a component of the work.
Even though we will focus on the use of solid plastic and its three-dimensional features, we shall not forget that an even greater impact in the art world was the introduction of synthetic materials in the form of acrylic paints, an indispensable element in the development of entire artistic movements.
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