A sculpture by the American artist Joel Shapiro has stood on Rotterdam’s
sculpture terrace since 2001. The sculpture is untitled and is highly
abstract, yet most viewers immediately associate it with a human form.
However, the figure’s posture is ambivalent and difficult to discern. The sculpture consists of five almost identical beam-like components, a
form frequently employed by the artist.
The sculpture is clearly formed
from wooden beams. Shapiro generally constructs his sculptures in wood,
which he then sometimes casts in bronze, iron or lead. The structure of
the wood often remains visible in the cast blocks, as is the case here.
In this way Shapiro emphasises two important aspects of his work: the
serial nature of his sculptures and the extreme simplicity of the forms
The bronze figure balances on a single leg on its plinth. The projecting and rotated limbs create a strong dynamism, giving the impression that the figure is light and mutable. The sculpture has no clear frontal aspect, so that it is interesting when viewed from all sides.
|dimensions sculpture (hxwxl) in cm||217 x 171 x 120|