Joel Shapiro (B. 1941)
painted aluminum
85 x 71 x 41 ½ in. (215.9 x 180.3 x 105.4 cm.)
Executed in 2000. This work is unique.
Pace Wildenstein, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2003
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Joel Shapiro on the Roof, May-November 2001.

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Alexander Berggruen
Alexander Berggruen

Lot Essay

“Human mood and movement are reduced to a geometric essence that is itself caught in an unclassical, all-too-human process of fluctuation, open to the viewer’s perception and speculation.” (R. Smith, “Joel Shapiro Looks Back, Differently,” in The New York Times, 31 March 1995)

“Whether Joel Shapiro's art making humanizes geometry or dehumanizes the figure is moot. Depending upon the viewer's movement, Shapiro's sculpture shifts from the abstract to the figurative, from hyperkinetic flight to collapse, from purely formal to deeply emotional-like a kaleidoscope whose pieces promise, but finally refuse, to settle into resolution. The visually precarious angles at which the rectangular blocks configuring his sculpture are joined seem to set off a chain reaction of disjunctions-physical and psychological.” (K. Kertess, "Dancing with Gravity," exh. cat. Joel Shapiro: New Wood and Bronze Sculpture, New York, 1998, p. 6)

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