If the industrial revolution brings people joy and expectation, it is a song and praise for the industrial age: then the two world wars brought people pain and despair, a reflection and reflection on mechanical civilization.
As mentioned above, the Westerners in the early 20th century were still in an infinite singularity and praise for science and technology. They did not realize that the problems and progress of society are hidden under the appearance of this civilization. It is precisely because of the accelerated development of the civilization process that the differences in economic and technological strength between different countries have occurred. This difference contradicts the original European order, which eventually led to the outbreak of two world wars.
The cost of war is heavy. Take “World War I” as an example. “The belligerents have mobilized 73.5 million people to participate in the war, of which 10 million are killed. This figure is equivalent to the total number of war deaths in Europe in the previous millennium.” It has been discovered that from the “World War I” the use of poison gas, machine guns, incendiary bombs and flowering bombs to the atomic bombs of “World War II”, these large-scale weapons of destruction are nothing but the science and technology that was originally advocated. The science and technology that was originally expected and delighted have been alienated into evil weapons of brutality. The two world wars have brought tremendous trauma to people’s hearts, but at the same time they have made people realize that the industrial civilization they praise and praise is only one step away from evil and barbarism.
However, such a social background provides people with an opportunity to rethink. If the pre-war artist’s creation of metal sculpture is a sincere appreciation and expectation for the achievements of industrial civilization, then the metal sculpture after the war is people’s war, Introspection and reflection on the mechanical civilization that was originally advocated. Even if it is still praised and yearned, it is often filled with a speculative atmosphere. Metal materials (especially steel) have a sensitive and ethereal beauty that fits the artist’s mind.
Moreover, due to the extensive destruction of the two world wars, most large and medium-sized cities in Europe have suffered unprecedented catastrophe. In the past, most of the public art or garden sculptures were destroyed and the city was facing reconstruction.
This provides opportunities for metal sculpture artists. In addition, the war has caused the city to wither, and traditional sculpture materials such as bronze and stone have become a costly material. Under such circumstances, the artists turned their attention to the large amount of discarded steel left over from the war, and the maturity and wide application of metal cutting, welding and compression processes made the metal become the ideal sculpture material.
The two world wars were the darkest period in human history, and humanity was annihilated and morality was lost. It is the social state of this kind of trough that provides a development opportunity for modern art, and also provides the possibility for the modern metal sculpture language to turn. If the industrial revolution prompted the modern metal sculpture to be born in the early 20th century, then the two world wars made the modern metal sculpture gradually mature after the war.