Sculptor Joel Shapiro (American, b.1941) creates compelling wooden sculptures of human forms, embracing an aesthetic that lies between figuration and abstraction. Born in New York, Shapiro originally intended to be a physician and studied science as an undergraduate at New York University. After serving in the Peace Corps in India for two years, he decided to pursue a career as an artist; upon his return, he took further classes at New York University while working on his art. Shapiro references traces of human activity in his first sculptures through including small-scale works of furniture and homes. His more recent work depicts abstracted, large-scale geometric shapes suggestive of human forms in bronze, wood, and other materials. Shapiro’s work has often been associated with Post-Minimalist art. He has received several awards for his work, including the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He receives frequent commissions to create public sculptures, including works at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, among many others. Shapiro currently lives and works in New York.


Born in New York, NY
B.A., New York University, NY
Peace Corps in India
M.A., New York University, NY


Joel Shapiro: Sculpture and Drawings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Galerie Daniel Tempolon, Paris (solo)
Museum Ludwig Cologne (solo)
Skulptur, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Sculpture, Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland (solo)
Remitden, Albany Institute of Htance works for public spaces, Des Moines, IA, USA
Correspondances (with Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux), Musée D'Orsay, Paris, France
PaceWildenstein, New York, NY
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL
Sculpture, Middleton Place, Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, South Carolina. Travelled to: McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Denver Art Museum, (cat.)
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France
Recent Sculpture and Drawings, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY (cat.)
Joel Shapiro on the Roof, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Canada, OttawaCanada. Exhibition held simultaneously with the installation of Conjunction, a commission by Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) for the Embassy of the United States, Ottawa, Canada
Sculpture and Works on Paper, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Painted Wood, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, UK
Recent Sculpture, PaceWildenstein, Los Angeles, CA
Roma, American Academy in Rome, Italy (cat.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Sculpture, New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Roche Court, East Winterslow, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK (cat.)
Sculptures 1974-1999, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK
Sculpture in Clay, Plaster, Wood, Iron and Bronze,1971- 1997’, Addison Gallery, Andover, Massachusetts, MA (cat.)
Skulpturen 1993-1997, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Travelled to: Barlach HALLE K, Hamburg, Germany
New Wood & Bronze Sculpture, PaceWildenstein, New York, NY(cat.)
Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich, Switzerland
Drawings, Galerie Biedermann Munich, Germany
New Etchings and Painted Wood Sculptures, Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, MI

Public Collections

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
The Douglas S. Cramer Foundation, Los Angeles, California
British Museum, London, England
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
The Chase Manhattan Collection, New York, New York
The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York
Museum of Modern Art, Friuli, Italy
Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, California
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Chiba, Japan
IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia, Spain
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tate Gallery, London, England
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Rockefeller University, New York, New York
The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York
The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey


Smith, Roberta. ‘Video, in Its Infancy, Had to Crawl Before It Could Walk,’ review of the P.S. 1 exhibition ‘Video Acts.’ New York Times, January 24, p. E39
‘‘American beauty’ Annely Juda Fine Art,’ review. Art Newspaper, May Ben-Haim, Tsipi.
‘New York: Joel Shapiro Metropolitan Museum of Art,’ review. Sculpture, January/February, p. 68, Ill.
Anderson, Maxwell L. ‘American Visionaries Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art’. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, Ill. p. 276.
Barbara Gladstone Gallery. ‘American Standard’. New York: Barbara Gladstone Gallery, ill., pp 29, 30.
Franks, Pamela. ‘The Tiger¹s Eye: The Art of a Magazine’. New Haven and London: Yale University Press
The McNay Art Museum. ‘Joel Shapiro: Sculpture’. . Essay by Martin Friedman. Charleston, S.C.: Spoleto Festival USA and San Antonio, Texas: The McNay Art Museum
Yorkshire Sculpture Park. ‘Joel Shapiro’. Essay by James Hall. Yorkshire: Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The American Academy in Rome. ‘Joel Shapiro: Roma’. Essays by Peter Boswell, Klaus Kertess, Donald Kuspit, with interview with Ester Coen. Rome: The American Academy in Rome
Addison Gallery of American Art. ‘Joel Shapiro: Sculpture in Clay, Plaster, Wood, Iron, and Bronze’. Interview by Jock Reynolds, text by Joel Shapiro. Andover, MA: Addison Gallery of American Art.