Structure in Sculpture
MIT Press, 1993
This book lays out the fundamental structural issues of concern to creators and commissioners of sculpture, from balance and geometry to the structural principles through examinations of the work of sculptors that include historical figures like Auguste Rodin as well as contemporary artists such as Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, and Christo.
Among the topics discussed are basic stability issues (preventing sliding, overturning, and collapse) and types of structures (frameworks, plates, cables, rotating works) and their behavior. These topics are illustrated with sculptures ranging from small freestanding pieces to the Statute of Liberty and the landscape interventions of Christo.
Structural principles are presented in a way that can be clearly understood by the nonengineer, often with the help of sketches and diagrams. These principles will tell a sculptor, for example, if a work proportioned in a certain way will overturn or not when set on a base, or if a particular piece is big enough to support its own weight without bending or breaking. For the more technically sophisticated reader, there is an extensive set of notes and appendixes that put the concepts introduced in the text into more mathematical language.