ArtLex Art Dictionary


aaluminum or aluminium - A silvery-white, ductile metal, having good conductive and thermal properties, and used to form many hard, light, alloys which are corrosion-resistant due to a protective oxide that forms on its surface. Aluminum melts at 1220°F (660.2°C) and can be cast and welded. It is available in a wide variety of colors (possible through a process called anodizing), and is often used in paints, foil, jewelry, and welding and is used when lightness combined with strength is desired. Aluminum is derived from the mineral bauxite. Although bauxite is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust, the processes necessary to creating aluminum were not developed until 1825, and aluminum was not used extensively until the twentieth century.

Atomic symbol Al; atomic number 13; atomic weight 26.98; specific gravity 2.69; valence 3.

This metal, known as aluminum in the United States, is known as aluminium in most other countries.

Examples of works using aluminum:




see thumbnail to rightR. Buckminster Fuller (American, 1895-1983), Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, Wichita, Kansas, 1944-46, model in aluminum and plastic, height 20 inches (50.8 cm), diameter 36 inches (91.4 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See architect, architecture, and dome.



Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976), Spiny, 1942, sheet aluminum, painted stabile, 26 x 30 x 14 3/8 inches (66 x 76.1 x 36.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.





see thumbnail to leftHans Coray (Swiss, 1906-1991), Landi Chair, 1938, bent and pressed aluminum, and rubber, 30 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 22 1/8 inches (77.5 x 54 x 56.2 cm), manufactured by P. & W. Blattmann Metallwaren-Fabrik, Switzerland. See design, furniture, and Swiss art.



see thumbnail to rightJackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Number 7, 1950, 1950, oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 23 inches x 9 feet 1 3/8 inches (58.5 x 277.8 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See Abstract Expressionism.





see thumbnail to leftUnknown Designer (nationality unknown), Cookie Cutting Wheel, 1953, aluminum and plastic, 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), manufactured by Foley Mfg. Co., Minneapolis, MN. See design.



Claes Oldenburg (American, 1929-) and Coosje van Bruggen (Dutch-American, 1942-), Torn Notebook, 1992, fabricated 1996, painted aluminum, stainless steel armature, notebook: 21 feet 10 inches x 23 feet x 26 feet 1 inches, north page: 10 feet x 14 feet 1 inch x 7 feet 1 inch, south page: 11 feet 8 inches x 8 feet 7 inches x 8 feet 2 inches, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, U of Nebraska, Lincoln.





see thumbnail to rightPhilip Grausman (American, contemporary), Leucantha, 1993, cast aluminum, 1 / 3, 108 x 118 x 118 inches, Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.







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