How best to square Joel Shapiro’s long-term sculpture project? He has been on a lifelong quest to determine how geometric form can convey complexities of introspection, “an emotional state,” as he described it recently in his Long Island City studio.1 In fact, geometry has preoccupied him since the early 1970s, when he burst onto the scene with a body of bronze and iron works that sat directly on the floor but never mimicked the horizontal plane. He is adamant that materials are a secondary concern, a prodigious admission for
a sculptor: “I think material is not so important. It doesn’t make that much difference. What is important is the utilization of the material.” Because he has no signature material (he has worked in bronze, iron, steel, wood, plaster, and clay)
...see the entire article in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.
20 elements (detail), 2004-05. Wood and casein, 10.17 x 11 x 7.08 ft. Installation view at Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 2005.