Joel Shapiro, Untitled, 1980-81


Joel Shapiro, 1980-81.
Cast bronze. 52 7/8" h. x 64" w. x 45 1/2" d

Photo credit: John Dlouhy

Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, 2005, in honor of Karen W. Morse, President, and Sarah Clark-Langager, Curator. Installation funded by the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection and President Karen W. Morse's designation from the Amendt Presidential Endowment.


The minimalist artists of the 1960s and 1970s rejected the human figure. While using minimalist shapes, Joel Shapiro re-introduced narrative and figurative elements into his sculptures. His figures interact with the surrounding space as they move into various configurations often reminiscent of dance routines or other athletic actions. Here the figure is balanced on one leg with one arm extended, giving a transitional feeling between control and lack of control.