Bachelor and master Visual Arts > Fine Arts > Sculpture

Sculpture may well be the artistic medium that has seen the most drastic changes in recent history. Beside modelling and sculpting, it has come to include assembling, working with space and the artist’s own body, developing virtual objects, photography, video … In the sculpture studio, we want to introduce students to, and train them in, a specific segment of that wide extensive field; that of the autonomous sculpture or plastic object.

The idea that sculpture’s specificity lies in the physical object is the basis for several fields of practice and research. What is contemporary sculpture’s relation with tradition? To what degree does a sculptural object differ from ordinary ‘things’? What is the nature of the relationship between an artistic object and the artistic ideas or concepts it can express? And what about abstraction? But also: how do I build a steel construction? How can I cast a moulded body part in a synthetic material?

In order to offer students answers to all of these questions, we let them follow a track that includes individual free artistic work that is discussed with the lecturers, form study classes that make use of specific exercises, and courses in basic techniques that can be employed to realize the free artistic work. The basic techniques that are taught in the studio are modelling, plaster and rubber moulding, plaster, synthetics and concrete casting, terracotta, wood construction and carving, welding and metal construction, metal casting and stone carving.

All of the lecturers and instructors teaching in the sculpture major are artistically active and some of them are also engaged in research in the arts at our faculty. Each in his or her own way, they define their own position in the field of contemporary sculpture. This results in a multiplicity of perspectives on the medium within the studio, a wide and open range of outlooks that are continuously under discussion. Moreover, each teacher also has a technical specialism to teach to students. For other specialized techniques there are extramural classes; bronze casting, for instance, is taught at a renowned foundry, and for a stone carving initiation we go to the world-famous marble-quarries in Carrara, Italy.

The future artists we welcome in the sculpture major will be able to start their own artistic practice upon graduation. With the wide range of technical skills they acquire in the programme, however, they will also find employment in museums, as assistants to artists, in set, stand and exhibition construction, and in specialized workshops (foundries, stonecutter’s and restoration studios).