ST. MORITZ.- Galerie Karsten Greve
St. Moritz dedicates the second solo exhibition to the work of American sculptor Joel Shapiro. Shapiro is considered one of the most important sculptors of his generation: over the course of an artistic career that spans more than 45 years, he has created an oeuvre, which, through his stimulating use of scale and shape configurations, is unmistakable in character. Some works are composed of enormous cast bronze blocks or massive wooden beams that suggest architectural elements, while others, hanging from the wall or ceiling and made of various pieces of wood conjoined with wires, nails, and screws, are delicate and light in their toy-like format the seemingly spontaneous results of sculptural bricolage. These fragile forms are occasionally reminiscent of the folded paper of origami objects.
With the disintegration of the tangible spatial parameters, Shapiro also defies the laws of physics the law of gravity in particular. His forms often seem to be frozen in movement: they remain in a perpetual state of precarious balance. His parodic allusion to the representative freeze frame loosens up the statuesque solidness of the genre. Buoyantly and humorously, Shapiro plays perceptions of weight and balance, of flexibility and stability, off one another, pushing the diverse media of wood, plaster, and bronze to the boundaries of the physically possible.
Joel Shapiro was born in New York City in 1941, and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from New York University. Since his first exhibition in 1970, Shapiros work has been the subject of countless one-person shows and retrospectives, most notably at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1980), the Whitney Museum (1982), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1985), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1995-6, jointly with the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City) and most recently at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001). Sculptures by Shapiro can be found in numerous public collections in the United States and internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York alone. He was commissioned to do projects for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.