Joel Shapiro

22 3/8 x 17 x 8 inches

How do you animate material so inanimate, so obdurate? – Joel Shapiro

Through this simple question, Joel Shapiro outlines an idea central to the creation of his work. In a career that spans over four decades, Shapiro has continually found new ways to imbue minimal, geometric forms and materials with emotion, life, and complexity. Characteristic of his best-known work, Untitled uses an economy of elements to hint at a figure leaning, bending, or even falling. Shapiro makes these works from planks of wood and then casts them in bronze, leaving wood grain and dented edges visible. Shapiro – a master of lyrical juxtapositions – offers us a work that appears both solidly grounded and fluidly in motion. Shapiro was born in New York City in 1941. His work has been the subject of many one-person shows, including at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Whitney Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (jointly with the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City); Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne. His work is in numerous public collections in the United States and abroad, including Dallas Museum of Art; MoMA, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

estimated retail value: $125,000

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courtesy of anthony and celeste meier
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