Plaster, Paper, Wood, and Wire
American artist Joel Shapiro (b. 1941) is best known for his monumental wood and metal sculptures of abstracted human forms. Less familiar, however, is his work in a variety of other media – particularly plaster, which Shapiro has turned to repeatedly during his long career. In this fascinating book, Pamela Franks examines how the artist's explorations in plaster echo throughout his frequently shifting art practice, inspiring works in wood, wire, paper, and other materials. The publication includes pieces ranging in scale from small to room-sized, as well as paper collages, which serve both as inspiration for his sculptural work and as works of art in their own right. Through a close look at all of these objects, the book studies how Shapiro blurs the line between figuration and geometric abstraction, and it documents variations on some of the artist's most recognizable forms. Installation photographs situate Shapiro's works in space and in curated groupings. This exciting publication offers readers a thought-provoking investigation of the possibilities to be found in the intersections between different media and between abstract and figurative art.
About the Author
Pamela Franks is senior deputy director and the Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery.