Joel Shapiro will open on February 2, 2012 at Rice University Art Gallery, where it will be on view through March 18, 2012. In a gravity-defying array of color and form, Shapiro will suspend wooden planks, vibrantly painted with supersaturated pigment, from the gallery's sixteen-foot ceiling. The opening celebration will take place on Thursday, February 2 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and will feature remarks by Joel Shapiro at 6:00 pm. Complimentary beverages, including ale from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, will be served. The event is free and open to the public.
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Known for his geometric, abstract sculptures that appear to bound across museum walls, floors, and sculpture gardens, Shapiro has embarked on an entirely new body of work, creating room-sized installations of colorful shapes and lines that seem to hover in suspended animation. Shapiro describes his approach to installation art as "the projection of thought into space without the constraint of architecture." He adds in an interview, "I feel like I've been working for so long to have finally built up this moment of discovery that I can get the work off the floor and be more playful in the air." Shapiro's evolution as an artist will be on full view in Rice Gallery, where his polychromatic planks will hang in a configuration that is at once
formally rigorous and utterly spontaneous.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Joel Shapiro was born in 1941 in New York, where he still lives. Active as an artist since the late 1960s, his work is represented in the permanent collections of major museums throughout the world, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Menil Collection, Houston. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1976); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1982-83); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (1987-88); Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Humlebæk, Denmark (1990); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001); Musée d'Orsay, Paris (2005), and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2010). In 2011, Shapiro oversaw the installation of For Jennifer, a monumental aluminum sculpture commissioned by the Denver Art Museum sited near the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum.
Joel Shapiro creates his 2011 installation at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany. Watch the full-sized video here. © Ralph Goertz / Institut für Kunstdokumentation und Szenografie 2011