Joel Shapiro

About Artist: Joel Shapiro (born September 27, 1941New York City, New York) is an American sculptor renowned for his dynamic work composed of simple rectangular shapes. 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. 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.His early work 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. His later works can have the appearance of flying, falling, 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.

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