As one of the oldest crafts in the world, wood sculpture has been an important medium throughout the history of art. Wood is one of the most widely available materials for sculpture, and as such has always proved popular. Beginning as a practical means of creating tools and weapons back in the Paleolithic era, woodwork eventually developed into a creative practice, producing some of history’s most beautiful and interesting sculptures.…
At Rise Art, we’ve compiled some of the best artists working at the forefront of wood sculpture today. This age-old art form remains just as strong in the modern day, and is constantly being redefined and reworked by talented sculptors. Browse our selection of wood sculptures today and let us help you begin or expand your art collection.
The first decorative use of wood sculpture was as handles to tools and weapons, and this evolved to full sculpture by the time of the ancient Egyptians. These sculptures were well-suited to the arid climate of Egypt, and usually depicted religious figures that would protect the bearer as they passed into the afterlife. As the art form has developed, wood sculpture has been particularly popular among folk artists due to the connection with the natural world that is embodied in the material. Swedish folk artists have been making elaborate and decorative instruments from wood for centuries, while the indigenous peoples of northern Canada and Alaska are known for their wooden utensils and decorative pieces.
A key figure in the world of modern wood sculpture is Gertrude Hermes, a British wood engraver and sculptor who made her name by exhibiting her work at institutions such as the Royal Academy in the 1930s. While her early work was a traditional kind of wood sculpture, she is best known for her engravings that are made in the surface of wood. Through this medium, Hermes etched a love of nature into the grain of the wood, depicting animals and natural scenes in a unique and interesting light.
Alexander Grigorev is a Russian sculptor whose conceptual works defy expectations. In Grigorev’s sculptures, the wooden medium is obscured by his use of coloured finishes and the intricacy of the carvings, creating impressive pieces that command attention. There is an inherent sense of motion in these wood sculptures, with repeating patterns that depict everything from microscopic molecular structures to forces of nature like the wind.
The work of Andrij Savchuk is more evidently wooden art, and therefore appeals to those interested by the natural feel of wooden sculptures. These beautifully carved sculptures evoke different objects and emotions through their use of clean lines and geometric forms, exposing the grain of the wood at times to remind the viewer of the materials used. His piece
Conception is a prime example of this artist’s understanding of wooden sculpture and his mastery of natural forms.