The worship of cultural and ideological factors such as “anthropocentrism”, “egocentrism”, “progressivism” and “newness” is the four main features of modernist culture, which has profoundly affected modernist art, including modern metal sculpture. This section will divide these four characteristics of modernism culture into two aspects to discuss their influence on modern metal sculpture.
From anthropocentrism to egocentrism, anthropocentrism and egocentrism are two distinctive features of modernist culture, but their origin and core are the same. They all originate from “humanism” in the 16th century western Renaissance. Anthropocentrism focuses on the macro existence of human as a whole, while egocentrism is the micro existence mode of “humanism”.
Anthropocentrism has two meanings: first, it refers to the central position of human beings in the universe; second, it refers to the legitimacy of human conquering and ruling nature. Before the Enlightenment, anthropocentrism referred to the former interpretation. Whether it was the “God and man in the same shape” in ancient Greece and Rome, or the emergence of the divine man God after the separation of man and God in the Middle Ages, it interpreted a “divine nature” of man as the master of all things.
After the Enlightenment, the significance of anthropocentrism lay particular emphasis on the latter interpretation, that is, the legitimacy of human conquest of nature. If the anthropocentrism before the Enlightenment was still represented in the form of “God”, then the anthropocentrism after the Enlightenment was represented in the face of man himself, who was the master of all things. Individualism was in a vague state in the early history of western society, and gradually awakened after the Renaissance. The ideas of “natural human rights”, “freedom” and “equality” in the Enlightenment gradually established individualism, and finally reached its peak after the middle of the 19th century, regarding every individual as the center of the world and even the universe.
Anthropocentrism is interpreted from the macro definition of human being, which is a macro whole and marks the conquest and occupation of human beings in the world; While egocentrism is explained from the perspective of each individual, which is microcosmic and individual. It marks that the release and release of human’s internal world modern metal sculpture is produced in the process of human’s conquest of the external world and expression of the internal world.
On the one hand, metal materials themselves are not naturally formed, but human beings have been exploring in the constant external conquest of the world. Especially modern metal materials such as steel and their processing methods are symbols of people’s exploration of the powerful forces in the external world. On the other hand, modern metal sculpture itself is a powerful tool for modern human beings to express themselves and their aspirations. Different metal materials are different in texture, color, feel and other aspects, which makes the metal material itself has a full personality, and some unique personality of metal sometimes matches with some emotions of modern people and becomes a powerful tool to show people’s inner world.