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Monolithic Abstractions: Sculpture by Robert Schad

A steel sculpture by Robert SchadDureik, solid square steel

Robert Schad is a steel sculptor who divides his time between France and Portugal. Creating large, monolithic abstractions for both outdoor and indoor settings, Schad projects a view of steel as unexpectedly malleable and flowing.

An installation view of two Robert Schad sculptures in a galleryMevel/Pokinak (installation view), solid square steel


I love Schad’s gallery-based artworks, in which the artist seems to “draw”, with steel. Schad often utilizes what looks to be a single steel bar, bending it into sharp contours that fold in over themselves. The resulting image is one that looks like someone has taken a giant ball point pen to the very air within a space, creating an abstract scribble the immense size and weight of which makes it extraordinary.


It’s easy to draw comparisons between Schad’s practice and that of pioneering steel sculptor Richard Serra. In Schad’s outdoor and public sculptures, the steel often oxidizes, allowing the works to take on a warm, coppery color that blends in with surrounding trees and contrasts with greenery, making it look like the sculpture has always been a part of the environment.


A photo of an outdoor sculpture by Robert SchadMerlak, solid square steel



About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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