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Biography

Since 1970, Joel Shapiro (b. 1941, New York City, New York) has created work that activates and reconfigures space with his iconic vocabulary of geometric forms, shifting figural and nonreferential implications, and subtle manipulations of scale. In his recent investigations of the expressive possibility of form and color, the artist suspends elements from the ceiling, wall, and floor. He has executed more than 30 publicly-sited sculptures across Asia, Europe, and North America, and has been the subject of numerous one-person and retrospective exhibitions, including at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1980); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1982); the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1985); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1995-6); the Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2011); and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016). Shapiro’s work can be found in international public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2011 bronze ​9' 3" x 5' 9" x 4' 3" (283.46 x 179.83 x 131 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2011
bronze
9' 3" x 5' 9" x 4' 3" (283.46 x 179.83 x 131 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 1978 wood, gouache ​5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/8 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 7.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 1978
wood, gouache
5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/8 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 7.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 1980-1981 bronze 51 13/16 x 60 1/8 x 45 1/8 in. (131.6 x 152.7 x 114.6 cm) Installation view, "America Is Hard to See," Whitney Museum of American Art, May 1 - September 27, 2015

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 1980-1981
bronze
51 13/16 x 60 1/8 x 45 1/8 in. (131.6 x 152.7 x 114.6 cm)
Installation view, "America Is Hard to See," Whitney Museum of American Art, May 1 - September 27, 2015

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2012-2014 wood, casein, and cord ​10 pieces: A: 1 9/16 x 10 x 170 in. (4.0 x 25.4 x 431.8 cm) (orange/brown) B: 1 3/16 x 13 1/2 x 142 1/2 in. (3.0 x 34.3 x 362.0 cm) (green/grey) C: 10 1/2 x 16 x 131 in. (26.7 x 40.6 x 332.7) (paris blue) D: 8 x 17 1/2 x 80 in. (20.3 x 44.5 x 203.2 cm) (pink) E: 1 5/16 x 20 x 174 in. (3.3 x 50.8 x 442.0 cm) (yellow) F: 1 3/4 x 6 x 211 7/8 in. (4.4 x 15.2 x 538.2 cm) (lamp black) G: 1 27/32 x 13 x 151 in. (4.7 x 33.0 x 383.5 cm) (cobalt violet) H: 2 x 4 x 320 in. (5.0 X 10.2 X 812.8) (malachite) I: 1 11/16 x 3 x 240 in. (4.3 X 7.6 X 609.6 cm) (white) Door: 1 1/8 x 39 7/8 x 86 in. (2.9 x 101.3 x 218.4 cm) (urbino red) installation dimensions variable

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2012-2014
wood, casein, and cord
10 pieces: A: 1 9/16 x 10 x 170 in. (4.0 x 25.4 x 431.8 cm) (orange/brown) B: 1 3/16 x 13 1/2 x 142 1/2 in. (3.0 x 34.3 x 362.0 cm) (green/grey) C: 10 1/2 x 16 x 131 in. (26.7 x 40.6 x 332.7) (paris blue) D: 8 x 17 1/2 x 80 in. (20.3 x 44.5 x 203.2 cm) (pink) E: 1 5/16 x 20 x 174 in. (3.3 x 50.8 x 442.0 cm) (yellow) F: 1 3/4 x 6 x 211 7/8 in. (4.4 x 15.2 x 538.2 cm) (lamp black) G: 1 27/32 x 13 x 151 in. (4.7 x 33.0 x 383.5 cm) (cobalt violet) H: 2 x 4 x 320 in. (5.0 X 10.2 X 812.8) (malachite) I: 1 11/16 x 3 x 240 in. (4.3 X 7.6 X 609.6 cm) (white) Door: 1 1/8 x 39 7/8 x 86 in. (2.9 x 101.3 x 218.4 cm) (urbino red) installation dimensions variable

Joel Shaprio Untitled, 2002 wood, wire, and casein 27 x 31 x 31 in. (68.6 x 78.7 x 78.7 cm)

Joel Shaprio
Untitled, 2002
wood, wire, and casein
27 x 31 x 31 in. (68.6 x 78.7 x 78.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro untitled, 2013 wood and casein 27 1/8 x 21 x 32 1/4 in. (68.9 x 53.3 x 81.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 2013
wood and casein
27 1/8 x 21 x 32 1/4 in. (68.9 x 53.3 x 81.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2011-2012 wood and casein ​15 3/4 x 27 x 20 3/4 in. (40 x 68.6 x 52.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2011-2012
wood and casein
15 3/4 x 27 x 20 3/4 in. (40 x 68.6 x 52.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro untitled, 2013 bronze 41 x 76 x 51 in. (104.1 x 193 x 129.5 cm) Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 2013
bronze
41 x 76 x 51 in. (104.1 x 193 x 129.5 cm)
Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro Joel Shapiro, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, 1983.

Joel Shapiro
Joel Shapiro, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, 1983.

Joel Shapiro Untitled (Green), 1980 Lithograph on Arches Cover pinted in green from an aluminum plate 22 x 29 3/4 inches (55.9 x 75.6 cm) ​Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro
Untitled (Green), 1980
Lithograph on Arches Cover pinted in green from an aluminum plate
22 x 29 3/4 inches (55.9 x 75.6 cm)
Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro untitled, 1979 lithograph on rolled Arches Cover paper 44 1/4 x 34 3/4 inches 112.4 x 88.3 cm Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 1979
lithograph on rolled Arches Cover paper
44 1/4 x 34 3/4 inches 112.4 x 88.3 cm
Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro untitled, 1978 bronze 2 3/4 x 23 7/16 x 17 1/8 inches (7 x 76.2 x 43.5 cm) Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 1978
bronze
2 3/4 x 23 7/16 x 17 1/8 inches (7 x 76.2 x 43.5 cm)
Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2011 bronze ​9' 3" x 5' 9" x 4' 3" (283.46 x 179.83 x 131 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2011
bronze
9' 3" x 5' 9" x 4' 3" (283.46 x 179.83 x 131 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 1978 wood, gouache ​5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/8 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 7.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 1978
wood, gouache
5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 1/8 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 7.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 1980-1981 bronze 51 13/16 x 60 1/8 x 45 1/8 in. (131.6 x 152.7 x 114.6 cm) Installation view, "America Is Hard to See," Whitney Museum of American Art, May 1 - September 27, 2015

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 1980-1981
bronze
51 13/16 x 60 1/8 x 45 1/8 in. (131.6 x 152.7 x 114.6 cm)
Installation view, "America Is Hard to See," Whitney Museum of American Art, May 1 - September 27, 2015

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2012-2014 wood, casein, and cord ​10 pieces: A: 1 9/16 x 10 x 170 in. (4.0 x 25.4 x 431.8 cm) (orange/brown) B: 1 3/16 x 13 1/2 x 142 1/2 in. (3.0 x 34.3 x 362.0 cm) (green/grey) C: 10 1/2 x 16 x 131 in. (26.7 x 40.6 x 332.7) (paris blue) D: 8 x 17 1/2 x 80 in. (20.3 x 44.5 x 203.2 cm) (pink) E: 1 5/16 x 20 x 174 in. (3.3 x 50.8 x 442.0 cm) (yellow) F: 1 3/4 x 6 x 211 7/8 in. (4.4 x 15.2 x 538.2 cm) (lamp black) G: 1 27/32 x 13 x 151 in. (4.7 x 33.0 x 383.5 cm) (cobalt violet) H: 2 x 4 x 320 in. (5.0 X 10.2 X 812.8) (malachite) I: 1 11/16 x 3 x 240 in. (4.3 X 7.6 X 609.6 cm) (white) Door: 1 1/8 x 39 7/8 x 86 in. (2.9 x 101.3 x 218.4 cm) (urbino red) installation dimensions variable

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2012-2014
wood, casein, and cord
10 pieces: A: 1 9/16 x 10 x 170 in. (4.0 x 25.4 x 431.8 cm) (orange/brown) B: 1 3/16 x 13 1/2 x 142 1/2 in. (3.0 x 34.3 x 362.0 cm) (green/grey) C: 10 1/2 x 16 x 131 in. (26.7 x 40.6 x 332.7) (paris blue) D: 8 x 17 1/2 x 80 in. (20.3 x 44.5 x 203.2 cm) (pink) E: 1 5/16 x 20 x 174 in. (3.3 x 50.8 x 442.0 cm) (yellow) F: 1 3/4 x 6 x 211 7/8 in. (4.4 x 15.2 x 538.2 cm) (lamp black) G: 1 27/32 x 13 x 151 in. (4.7 x 33.0 x 383.5 cm) (cobalt violet) H: 2 x 4 x 320 in. (5.0 X 10.2 X 812.8) (malachite) I: 1 11/16 x 3 x 240 in. (4.3 X 7.6 X 609.6 cm) (white) Door: 1 1/8 x 39 7/8 x 86 in. (2.9 x 101.3 x 218.4 cm) (urbino red) installation dimensions variable

Joel Shaprio Untitled, 2002 wood, wire, and casein 27 x 31 x 31 in. (68.6 x 78.7 x 78.7 cm)

Joel Shaprio
Untitled, 2002
wood, wire, and casein
27 x 31 x 31 in. (68.6 x 78.7 x 78.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro untitled, 2013 wood and casein 27 1/8 x 21 x 32 1/4 in. (68.9 x 53.3 x 81.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 2013
wood and casein
27 1/8 x 21 x 32 1/4 in. (68.9 x 53.3 x 81.9 cm)

Joel Shapiro Untitled, 2011-2012 wood and casein ​15 3/4 x 27 x 20 3/4 in. (40 x 68.6 x 52.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro
Untitled, 2011-2012
wood and casein
15 3/4 x 27 x 20 3/4 in. (40 x 68.6 x 52.7 cm)

Joel Shapiro untitled, 2013 bronze 41 x 76 x 51 in. (104.1 x 193 x 129.5 cm) Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 2013
bronze
41 x 76 x 51 in. (104.1 x 193 x 129.5 cm)
Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro Joel Shapiro, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, 1983.

Joel Shapiro
Joel Shapiro, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, 1983.

Joel Shapiro Untitled (Green), 1980 Lithograph on Arches Cover pinted in green from an aluminum plate 22 x 29 3/4 inches (55.9 x 75.6 cm) ​Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro
Untitled (Green), 1980
Lithograph on Arches Cover pinted in green from an aluminum plate
22 x 29 3/4 inches (55.9 x 75.6 cm)
Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro untitled, 1979 lithograph on rolled Arches Cover paper 44 1/4 x 34 3/4 inches 112.4 x 88.3 cm Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 1979
lithograph on rolled Arches Cover paper
44 1/4 x 34 3/4 inches 112.4 x 88.3 cm
Edition of 30

Joel Shapiro untitled, 1978 bronze 2 3/4 x 23 7/16 x 17 1/8 inches (7 x 76.2 x 43.5 cm) Edition of 3

Joel Shapiro
untitled, 1978
bronze
2 3/4 x 23 7/16 x 17 1/8 inches (7 x 76.2 x 43.5 cm)
Edition of 3