WORKS ON PAPER 1988-2022
May 4 – June 30, 2023
NEW YORK, NY – Mignoni is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of the work of Joel Shapiro (b.1941) on view from May 4th through June 30th. The exhibition consists of vibrant, colorful works on paper spanning from 1988 – 2022.
Although Joel Shapiro is known for his sculptures, he has also developed a significant body of works on paper throughout his career. His paper works include drawings, woodcuts, and collages. Many of these serve as studies for his sculptures, exploring different ways to represent movement and balance within a two-dimensional space. Although highly stylized and fragmented, Shapiro’s works on paper often feature abstract shapes and lines that suggest the human figure. They are kinetic, using a limited palette of bold colors which enhance the sculptural qualities of the forms and figures in dynamic compositions. The fluid and expressive qualities of Shapiro’s work in this medium contrasts with the static stability of his sculptures and also serve to deepen our understanding of the works in three dimensions. In an interview for the Artist Profile Archive he stated “I think that the capacity to, sort of, externalize your interior into the work is critical, and to find some mechanism that allows you to do that, and I think that’s what artists struggle to find- some means that is individual that allows them to express their thought…” He is interested in how form is organized, the immediacy of expression, and how conditions affect that.
Throughout his work Shapiro seeks to find a fresh way of joining one element to another so it becomes an independent event where they conjoin capriciously rather than logically. This sense of play can be experienced in his works on paper- the flexibility of drawing allows him to explore and experiment with new ideas and techniques. Shapiro’s works create a dialogue between form and space, abstraction and representation, artist and viewer.
Overall, Shapiro’s works on paper are an important part of his oeuvre and demonstrate his understanding of the medium. They offer a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and showcase his innovative approach to the artistic principles.
Chalk, charcoal and pastel on paper
58 x 47 in.
(147.3 x 119.4 cm)