New York Art@Site Joel Shapiro Untitled

Joel Shapiro



Warren Street
H.W. Janson, Anthony Janson (2004): The leading representative of Post-Minimalism is Joel Shapiro (b. 1941). Post-Minimalism means the gradually moving away from Minimalism without abondoning it altogether.
After producing small pieces having great conceptual intensity and aeshetic power, Shapiro suddenly began to make sculptures of simple wood beams that refer to the human figure but do not directly represent it. They assume active "poses", some standing awkwardly off-balance, others dancing or tumbling, so that they charge the space around them with energy.
Shapiro soon began casting them in bronze, which retains the texture of the rough wood grain. These pieces reassert the traditional craft of sculptrue in being hand-finished with a beautiful patina by skilled artisans.
By freely rearranging the vocalulary of David Smith, who experimented with such a figure before his death, Shapiro gave Minimalist sculpture a new lease on life. Nevertheless, his work remains one of the few successful attempts at reviving contemporary sculpture, which as a whole has found it difficult to chart a new direction.