Joel Shapiro (b. 1941, New York) is an artist of international prominence. Subverting the distinctions between abstraction and representation, Shapiro reconsiders the modern figurative tradition, creating abstract geometric sculpture that elicits a sense of movement and engages viewers’ physical and psychological relationships with space. In his recent investigations of the expressive possibility of form and color in space, the artist suspends painted wooden elements from the ceiling, wall, and floor, exploring the projection of thought into space without the constraint of architecture.
He has executed more than thirty commissions and publicly-sited sculptures in major Asian, European, and North American cities and has been the subject of more than 160 solo exhibitions and retrospectives internationally. In 2011, the artist energized the monumental forty-three-foot-tall gallery at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany with fifteen vibrantly painted wooden elements. his work has recently been exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016); Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2017); the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (2018); and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin (2018).
Works on Paper 2011–2013
508 West 25th Street, New York
May 9 – June 28, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 8, 6 – 8 PM
Pace Gallery is pleased to present Joel Shapiro: Works on Paper 2011 – 2013. The exhibition will be on view from May 9 to June 28, 2014 and is the first show devoted to the artist’s works on paper in over two decades.
In these works, Joel Shapiro extends the investigations of his recent suspended sculptures [Pace Gallery, 2010; Museum Ludwig, 2011; Rice University Art Gallery, 2012] that explore the dispersion of form and color in space, exchanging the three-dimensional space of the gallery for the two-dimensional plane of the paper, and industrial cordage and pigment-soaked wood forms for aqueous eruptions of line and color in gouache and charcoal. Alternately deeply saturated and sparsely marked, all of the works are imbued with the intensity and vitality that have been hallmarks of his sculpture since the 1970s.
A catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes the essay, “Notes on Drawing and Being Drawn: Joel Shapiro, Works on Paper,” by Peter Cole, poet, translator and MacArthur Fellow. The drawings in the exhibition, Cole writes, “absorb our gaze as the paper absorbed the pigments he deployed there: the pooling of inks in the pulp’s topography; archipelagos of splatter in a given corner; the interaction of layered textures; the fern-like symmetries of off-kilter folds. If Shapiro’s signature sculptures seem to be projected out of a previous history or state, and to be moving into what they’re always about to become, these largely gouache inventions float up out of the ground of their whiteness, calling us into their dramas.”
Cole notes also that the recent works are a significant departure from those exhibited in 1984 and “show [Shapiro] spiraling back to the medium with greater abandon. The choreography and chromaticism that emerge are both richer and more naïve than anything in the early non-geometric pieces, more indulgent, but also somehow more understanding—in the sense of resisting the intelligence almost successfully (as Wallace Stevens said that poetry should).”
Joel Shapiro (b. 1941, New York City) received both his B.A. (1964) and M.A. (1969) from New York University. Since his first one-artist exhibition in 1970, his work has been the subject of nearly 160 solo exhibitions and retrospectives internationally. He has been included in prestigious group exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1979, 1981, 1989), Documenta (1977, 1982), and the Venice Biennale (1980). Shapiro was elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Art in 1994 and to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In 2005, he received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France, on the occasion of his exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay.
Shapiro has been the subject of numerous one-artist exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad including Joel Shapiro: Sculpture and Drawing at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1980) which traveled to and Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Joel Shapiro at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1982) with subsequent venues in Dallas, Toronto and La Jolla; Joel Shapiro at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam with subsequent venues in Düsseldorf and Baden-Baden (1985–1986); Joel Shapiro at Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Humlebæk, Denmark, which traveled to IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia, Spain, Kunsthalle Zürich and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais (1990–1991) ; Joel Shapiro: Outdoors at the Walker Arts Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (1995–1996), which traveled to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art/Kansas City Sculpture Park; Joel Shapiro: Skulpturen 1993–1997 at the Haus der Kunst, Munich (1997), which traveled to the Barlach HALLE K, Hamburg; Joel Shapiro Sculpture 1974–1999 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, and Joel Shapiro on the Roof at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gerald B. Cantor Rooftop Galleries, New York (2001).
Concurrent with Pace’s Works on Paper 2011 – 2013 is an exhibition on view at The Museum of Modern Art of Saint-Etienne Métropole through May 18, 2014 and an exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon from June 21 to September 21, 2014.
More than 30 commissions and publicly sited sculptures by the artist are located in major Asian, European and North American cities. In 1993, Shapiro created the bronze sculpture Loss and Regeneration for the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington. Most recently, in 2013, the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, unveiled Now, a commission from the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE). The work is Shapiro’s first public sculpture in China. Other recent commissions include For Jennifer (2011), commissioned by The Denver Art Museum and Verge (2008), commissioned for 23 Savile Row, London.
Shapiro’s works are in the collections of over 100 public collections worldwide, including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Harvard Business School, Boston; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, Houston; the Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi, Japan; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the British Museum, London; the Tate Gallery, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington; the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut .
Joel Shapiro lives and works in New York City.
2014. Pace Gallery. Paperback
60 pages: 42 color illustrations; 9 ¾ x 9 inches