Joel Shapiro: Recent Sculpture
PaceWildenstein is pleased to present a group of new large-scale sculpture by Joel Shapiro on view May 2 through July 2003 at 534 West 25th Street, New York City. Created between 2001-2003, the exhibition includes several abstract works in either cast bronze or wood. Shapiro’s current work further develops his ongoing interest in the relationships between scale and space and the dynamics between the viewer and the viewed. Among the exhibition’s highlights are a visually-arresting bronze sculpture whose dimensions are approximately 19 feet x 22 feet x 16 feet. A full color catalog with an essay by critic Arthur Danto accompanies the exhibition.
In his essay “Scale and Meaning in Joel Shapiro’s Recent Sculpture,” Danto elaborates upon the direct correlation between an artwork’s physical size and the philosophical and political values it can, in turn, reference and illuminate. Having isolated scale as the most prominent and notable feature in Shapiro’s new work, Danto remarks: “If one stands too close, one cannot really see them for what they are. One cannot read them….If, however, one withdraws to a certain distance, not only do the various elements begin to cohere as an image, but the work itself defines a favored aspect…The conditions of integral perception define the distance from which the sculpture wants to be seen….Between the sculpture and ourselves there is a relationship of interanimation….these sculptures come to life by causing us to move. That is what determines their scale.”
Joel Shapiro (b. 1941, New York) received a B.A. and M.A. from New York University (1964, 1969). Since his first solo exhibition in 1970, Shapiro’s work has been the subject of over 100 one-person shows and retrospectives including: Joel Shapiro: Sculpture and Drawing at The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London that later traveled to the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1980); Joel Shapiro organized by The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York with subsequent venues at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (1982-84); Joel Shapiro at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and later exhibited at the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany (1985-86); Joel Shapiro organized by IVAM Centro Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, that later traveled to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, the Kunsthalle Zurich and the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Calais, France (1990-91). The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City co-organized and exhibited Joel Shapiro: Outdoors, the first major outdoor exhibition of the artist’s bronzes (1995-96), and in 1999 the American Academy in Rome mounted Joel Shapiro: Roma, an installation of Shapiro’s sculpture at the Academy and around the city. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England exhibited Joel Shapiro: Sculptures 1974-1999 shortly thereafter (1999-2000). Most recently, Shapiro’s sculpture was on view at the Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston which then traveled to the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio and the Denver Art Museum (2000-01). In the summer and autumn of 2001, Shapiro’s work was on view at The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Shapiro has been honored with numerous awards including: a Visual Art Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975); the Brandeis University Creative Arts Award (1984); the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (1986); the Award of Merit Medal for Sculpture given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, NY; and, election to the Swedish Royal Academy of Art. In 1998 Shapiro became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY. In addition, Shapiro’s work has regularly been exhibited in prestigious group exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (1977, 1979, 1981, 1989), Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982), and the Venice Biennale (1980).
More than 20 commissions and publicly sited sculptures by Shapiro are located in major Asian, European and North American cities including works for the Cigna Corporation, Philadelphia (1983-84); Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles (1988-89); the Government Service Administration, Los Angeles (1988-90); the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC (1993); Sony Plaza, New York (1994-95); Friedrichstadt Passagen, Berlin (1994-95); the Kansas City International Airport, MO (1994-96); the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (1996); Kanton of Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland (1997); the Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa, Canada (1999); Köln Skulpture Park, Cologne (1999); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1999); the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (1999); the University of Cincinnati (1999); Rockefeller University, New York (2000); the International Sculpture Collection, Rotterdam (2000); the Communaute de Communes de L’Agglomeration Orleanaise, Orléans (2001); the Embassy of the United States of America, Vienna, Austria (2001); and The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago (2002).
Joel Shapiro’s work can be found in over eighty public collections in the United States and abroad, including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Des Moines Art Center; Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi, Japan; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Saint Louis Art Museum; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Tate Gallery, London; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
Joel Shapiro lives and works in New York.