Joel Shapiro

Untitled, 1996-99

288 x 171 x 137 1/2 in. (731.5 x 434.3 x 349.3 cm.)

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

In creating large-scale sculptures such as this, Shapiro typically begins by making a small wooden model. He then envisions the final dimensions of the sculpture and constructs full-scale wood boxes that are cast into bronze and assembled. Here, the square elements connect at irregular angles, creating a dynamic composition of carefully balanced, cantilevered limbs. Two of the artist's most recurrent motifs, the figure and the tree, intermingle in this work. The composition playfully changes meaning as the viewer moves around it: elements that appear to be legs of a geometric figure from one point of view become arms of a different figure or limbs of a tree from another.

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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: Ellen Page Wilson, Courtesy of Pace Wildenstein


Artist PaceWildenstein, New York Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas, 2001

Additional Text

Multimedia Resources

Learn more about bronze casting (video)

Classroom Resources

Learn how to cast a sculpture (pdf)