Plastic

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Invented in the mid-19th century, plastic is one of the most prominent materials used in day-to-day life, and thanks to 20th century adopters, now in art. Artists have integrated many different kinds of plastics into their works—such as plexiglass, vinyl, fiberglass, and PVC—turning to the medium for its flexibility, durability, affordability, and reproducibility. For example, the American Minimalist Donald Judd, the Young British Artist Liam Gillick, and Venezuelan Op Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez have all featured colorful and transparent plastics in their sculptures, using the material to explore the effects of visual perception. Eero Aarnio pioneered the use of fiberglass in furniture design in the 1970s, and many designers have continued to eschew traditional materials like wood and stone in favor of this accessible medium.

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