Joel Shapiro

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Joel Shapiro, Untitled, bronze, 1990, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Joel Shapiro (born September 27, 1941[1] New York City, New York) is an American sculptor renowned for his dynamic work composed of simple rectangular shapes. The artist is classified as a Minimalist as demonstrated in his works, which were mostly defined through the materials used, without allusions to subjects outside of the works.[2] Shapiro shows regularly with The Pace Gallery in New York, Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris and Galerie Karsten Greve. He lives and works in New York City. He is married to the artist Ellen Phelan.

Early life and education[edit]

Joel Shapiro grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, New York.[3] He graduated from Bayside High School (Bayside, NY) in 1959, at which time the school’s yearbook awarded him the title of Man About Town. When he was twenty two he lived in India for two years while in the Peace Corps.[3] He received a B.A. in 1964 and an M.A. in 1969 from New York University

Work and inspiration[edit]

While serving his Peace Corp time in India, Shapiro saw many Indian art works, and has said that "India gave me the sense of … the possibility of being an artist." In India "Art was pervasive and integral to the society", and he has said that "the struggle in my work to find a structure that reflects real psychological states may well use Indian sculpture as a model."[3] His early work, which also drew inspiration from Greek art,[4] is characterized by some by its small size, but Shapiro has discounted this perception, describing his early works as, "all about scale and the small size was an aspect of their scale". He described scale as "A very active thing that's changing and altering as time unfolds, consciously or unconsciously," and, "a relationship of size and an experience. You can have something small that has big scale." In these works he said that he was trying "to describe an emotional state, my own longing or desire". He also said that during this early period in his career he was interested in the strategies of artists Robert Morris, Richard Serra, Carl Andre, and Donald Judd.[3]

By the 1980s, Shapiro began to explore larger and life-size forms in pieces that were still reminiscent of Indian and Greek sculpture but also inspired by the early modernist works by Edgar Degas and Constantin Brâncusi.[4] The bulk of these pieces have been commissioned or acquired by museums and galleries. Later, Shapiro further expanded his repertoire by creating pieces that depicted the dynamism of human form. For instance, his subjects were portrayed in the act of dancing, crouching, and falling, among others that explored the themes of balance, cantilever, projection, and compression.[4] His later works can have the appearance of flying, being impossibly suspended in space, and/or defying gravity. He has said about this shift in his work that he "wanted to make work that stood on its own, and wasn't limited by architecture and by the ground and the wall and right angles."[3] These can be demonstrated in the case of the large-size outdoor art he made for the Hood Museum of Art. The bronze piece was an attenuated form that leans over a walkway and its near-falling form is viewed as an energizing element in the museum's courtyard. This sculpture, like all of Shapiro's mature works, are untitled.[5]

Works in collections[edit]

United States[edit]

California[edit]

  • Untitled, 1978, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla
  • Untitled, 1974, Gersh, Philip & Beatrice, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1988, Gersh, Philip & Beatrice, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1979, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1982, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1975, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Untitled, 1988, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco

District of Columbia[edit]

  • Untitled, 1989, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Untitled, 1974, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Untitled, 1975, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Untitled, 1975, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Untitled, 1983, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Untitled, 1986, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington
  • Loss and Regeneration, 1993, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington

Florida[edit]

  • Untitled, 1996, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton
  • Untitled, 1988, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton
  • Up/Over, 2007, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach

Illinois[edit]

  • Untitled, 1984, Elliott, Gerald S., Chicago
  • Untitled (Arching Figure), 1985, Elliott, Gerald S., Chicago
  • Untitled (for G.S.E.), 1987, Elliott, Gerald S., Chicago
  • Untitled, 1981, Governors State University, University Park

Indiana[edit]

  • Untitled, 1984, Ball State Museum of Art, Indiana

Iowa[edit]

  • Untitled, 2003, Principal Riverwalk, Des Moines

Maine[edit]

  • Untitled, 1984, Colby College, Museum of Art, Waterville

Maryland[edit]

  • Untitled, 1985, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore
  • Untitled, 1970, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore

Massachusetts[edit]

  • Untitled, 1990, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge

Michigan[edit]

  • Untitled, 1975, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
  • Untitled, 1985, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Minnesota[edit]

  • Untitled, 1975, Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Minneapolis

Missouri[edit]

  • Untitled, 1984, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
  • Untitled, 1991, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City

Nebraska[edit]

  • Untitled, 1984, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Garden,

New York[edit]

  • Seven Elements, 2001–2003, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
  • Untitled, 1988, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Untitled, 1988, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Untitled (house on shelf), 1974, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Untitled, 1994, Sony Plaza, NYC - Donated by Sony Corporation of America to Storm King Art Center on April 19, 2016
  • Untitled (House on Field), 1976, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC
  • Untitled, 1978, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC
  • Untitled, 1981, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC
  • Untitled, 2000, Rockefeller University, New York
  • Untitled, 2004–2005, Albany Academy for Girls, Albany, NY

North Carolina[edit]

  • Untitled, 1990, North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Untitled, 1995, Davidson College, Van Every/ Smith Galleries

Ohio[edit]

  • Untitled, University of Cincinnati Galleries, Ohio
  • Untitled, 1977, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Untitled, 1989, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Pennsylvania[edit]

  • Untitled maquette, 1984, CIGNA Museum and Art Collection, Philadelphia
  • Untitled, 1984, CIGNA Museum and Art Collection, Philadelphia

Texas[edit]

  • Untitled, 1975, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas
  • Untitled, 1975, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[6]
  • Untitled, 1984, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[7]
  • Untitled, 1985-87, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[8]
  • Untitled, 1986, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[9]
  • Untitled, 1986, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[10]
  • Untitled, 1996-99, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas[11]
  • Untitled, 1977, Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth
  • Untitled, 1977, Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth
  • Untitled, 1990, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Untitled, 2000, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
  • "Elements", 2004-2005, Northpark Center, Dallas, Texas
  • Untitled, 2011, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston

Washington[edit]

  • Untitled, 1980–81, Restricted Owner, Seattle, Washington

Wisconsin[edit]

  • Untitled, 1987, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

International collections[edit]

Australia[edit]

  • Untitled (chair), 1974, Australian National Gallery, Canberra

Canada[edit]

  • Conjunction, 1999, Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa

Denmark[edit]

Germany[edit]

  • Untitled, 1999, Köln Skulpture Park, Cologne

Israel[edit]

  • Untitled, 1991, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
  • Untitled, 1996, Billy Rose Art Garden, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Netherlands[edit]

Sweden[edit]

  • Untitled, 1979, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
  • Untitled, 1982, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Untitled, 1978, Tate Gallery, London
  • Untitled, 1984, Tate Gallery, London

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bui, Phong (November 2007). "Joel Shapiro with Phong Bui". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  2. ^ Sale, Teel; Betti, Claudia (2008). Drawing: A Contemporary Approach. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 25. ISBN 9780495094913. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Klein, Michele Gerber http://bombsite.com/issues/109/articles/3332 BOMB Magazine Fall 2009, Retrieved July 25, 2011
  4. ^ a b c Hood Museum of Art (2009). Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New england. p. 117. ISBN 9781584657866. 
  5. ^ Kostelanetz, Richard (2001). A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes. New York: Routledge. p. 565. ISBN 0415937647. 
  6. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=148
  7. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=121
  8. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=197
  9. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=207
  10. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=203
  11. ^ http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/art/collection/object?id=684

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]