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Joel Shapiro
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos


Joel Shapiro, "Really Blue (after all)," 2016, wood and casein, 103 x 80 x 50"

Continuing through August 21, 2016

The current site specific installation conceived of, and executed by, Joel Shapiro was specifically commissioned for the museum. This latest stage in Shapiro’s practice will be almost unrecognizable to those who have not kept up with what he’s been doing for the last few years.  Suffice it to say that this is not our parents Joel Shapiro, whose iconic signature style featured large scale geometric forms in bronze that play off of a tension between geometry and the human figure.

Recently he has begun to explore the aesthetic possibilities of geometric forms in wood with the addition of an array of colors, a single color for each form. These sometimes resemble dwellings that interact with the earlier geometric figures. His other concern has been to somehow animate and lift the forms into the air. He began by attaching them to the walls of exhibition spaces. For Shapiro, the history of western sculpture has contended with how the floor “dominates the organization of form.” He contends that if sculpture can in some way interfere with this limit, that a new and radical experience would be possible. In an astonishing feat of delicate balance and vision he succeeds by anchoring the multicolored forms to the walls, floor, and ceiling with wires. They function as floating color in space, hovering at various levels from the ground, filling the gallery with what could be considered as a dream sequence.  


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