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Gene Focus: Open Form Sculpture

"Open form" means sculptures that are not solid masses but which literally have openings in them, or in which lines and planes often replace solid volumes or enclosing surfaces; thus the open (negative) space of a sculpture becomes a major component of the work. Pablo Picasso's Guitar assemblages of 1912 were arguably the beginning of this type of sculpture, even though with these works, the artist was attempting to move outside of sculpture altogether, and even though far before the name "open form" was conceived there were examples of what could be understood as this kind of work in non-Western art. (See the Standing Ibex, at right, for example.) In the later part of the 20th century, Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Julio Gonzalez all pioneered a highly simplified open-form sculpture using wire and progressively other materials.

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