Joel Shapiro

Untitled, 1986

Painted wood
62 x 55 x 62 in. (157.5 x 139.7 x 157.5 cm.)

Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Although they appear abstract, Joel Shapiro’s sculptures often seem to refer to the human figure and frequently evoke bodies in motion, their equilibrium in flux. This painted wood sculpture is one of a group of works that feature rectangular boxes delicately balanced on long, slender legs, suggesting perhaps a figure on two legs stretching one arm to the ground or a three-legged creature. As Shapiro explained, “The original intention was to take a block of wood, something stable and object-like, and make it something unstable and animate.” The sculpture’s simplicity emphasizes a provisional moment of poised balance in tension with the force of gravity.

Discover More


Photo Credits

(c) 2004 Joel Shapiro/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York "Reproduction, including downloading of Arp, Brancusi, Braque, Calder, de Kooning, Dubuffet, Ernst, Giacometti, Gonzalez, Laurens, Maillol, Pevsner, Puni, Richier, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Newman, Archipenko, Smith, Stella, Chamberlain, Serra and/or Shapiro works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York."
Photographer: David Heald



Artist Paula Cooper Gallery, New York Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas, 1987