Joel Shapiro

Jun 9 – Jul 20, 2023
Hong Kong
Exhibition Details:

Joel Shapiro
Jun 9 – Jul 20, 2023


12/F, H Queen's
80 Queen's Road Central
Hong Kong


Press Release


(opens in a new window) @pacegallery

Above: Installation view, Joel Shapiro, Jun 9 – Jul 20, 2023, Pace Gallery, Hong Kong © 2023 Joel Shapiro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of work by American sculptor Joel Shapiro at its Hong Kong gallery.

On view from June 9 to July 20, the show—which will examine Shapiro’s practice from the 1990s to the present day—marks the artist’s first solo presentation in Hong Kong.

Shapiro, who has maintained a deep interest in exploring—and occasionally erasing—the line between abstraction and figuration, has also been preoccupied with the ways in which sculpture can engage and activate landscape and architecture. By utilizing various materials and procedures throughout his career, Shapiro has ceaselessly explored sculpture’s capacity to alter one’s sense of space, scale, and physicality.

Shapiro’s upcoming exhibition in Hong Kong will bring together various sculptures in wood and bronze that highlight aspects of gravity, mass, and form in the artist’s work over the past 30 years. The show will begin with two sculptures created by Shapiro in the 1990s, including a large-scale bronze from 1994–95 that draws one’s attention to the floor as well as a subtly-painted wood sculpture consisting of two entwined figures that in turn draws the viewer’s gaze up the wall of the room. A more recent, partially painted wood sculpture meanwhile appears to be frozen, mid-dash, in the middle of the space.

These somewhat heavier forms serve as counterpoints to the works on view in subsequent rooms of the exhibition, which focus on seemingly lighter, more precariously joined sculptures produced by the artist in recent years. Two of these sculptures, one painted an ethereal blue and another a soft yet brilliant yellow, are suspended from the ceiling, touching the floor ever so delicately. The third gallery space will showcase a two-part wall-mounted sculpture and a lithe, dynamic bronze.

Shapiro’s Hong Kong exhibition follows Pace’s presentation of a large-scale bronze sculpture by the artist in its booth at Art Basel Hong Kong earlier this year. Shapiro has mounted recent solo exhibitions at Pace Gallery in Seoul; the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin; the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven; the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland; and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. His work can be found in the permanent collections of major art institutions around the world, including the He Art Museum, Guangdong; the Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York; the Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate, London.

Shapiro has also executed over 30 major commissions and large-scale, publicly sited works worldwide over the course of his career, including for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the US consulate in Guangzhou, China. His work can also be found outside the US embassy in Ottawa, Canada; the Denver Art Museum in Colorado; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.



Joel Shapiro on His Hong Kong Exhibition

Speaking from his New York studio, Joel Shapiro describes his approach to form and color, and the moments of rapture found in creating his expressive works.


Featured Works

Joel Shapiro, untitled, 2000, oil paint on wood, 79-1/2 x 70-1/2 x 32" (201.9 x 179.1 x 81.3 cm)
Joel Shapiro, untitled, 2019-2021, bronze, 31-13/16" × 27-1/4" × 21-3/4" (80.8 cm × 69.2 cm × 55.2 cm)
Joel Shapiro, untitled, 2021-2022, wood and casein, 52-5/8" × 61" × 21-3/4" (133.7 cm × 154.9 cm × 55.2 cm)

Installation Views


About the Artist

Subverting the distinctions between abstraction and representation, Joel Shapiro reconsiders the modern figurative tradition. Shapiro creates 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.

Learn More