Lecture on public sculpture by artist Joel Shapiro at the National Gallery of Canada
Ottawa, Canada - January 11, 2000
« Conférence sur la sculpture publique par l'artiste Joel Shapiro au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada »
The National Gallery of Canada is pleased to present a lecture by internationally acclaimed American sculptor Joel Shapiro. Shapiro recently created Conjunction, the sculpture installed outside the new American Embassy on Sussex Drive which was donated by the Washington, DC-based Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE). The lecture, entitled Joel Shapiro: On Public Sculpture, will discuss the development of the artist's work and his thoughts on the viability of public sculpture. The lecture will take place on Sunday 23 January at 2 pm in the Auditorium of the Gallery, in English followed by a bilingual question period. Admission is free. Visitors to the Gallery may also view four sculptures by Joel Shapiro, located in the Great Hall from January 19th through 23rd.
Joel Shapiro's sculptures have been extensively exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. For over a quarter of a century, he has created works that define him as one of the finest sculptors of his generation. Shapiro has been called a Post-Minimalist because his work provides a link between the Minimal art of the 1960s and the content-heavy art of the late 70s and 80s.
Joel Shapiro was born in New York City in 1941. Following a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in India, he decided to become an artist. He rented a studio in New York and obtained a graduate degree from New York University. He quickly received critical acclaim for his small-scale works that had an implied human presence. Since the mid-1970s, the human figure has become the most significant theme in Shapiro's sculpture. Through the human figure, Shapiro investigates the very nature of abstraction.
His more recent sculptures, in human-size scale, are stripped down, devoid of detail, sexual identity, narrative, or identifying context.
Joel Shapiro is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Award of Merit for Sculpture from the American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters, New York, in 1990, and a National Endowment for the Arts award for sculpture in 1975. In addition to numerous one-person exhibitions, a major retrospective of his work was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982.
The National Gallery of Canada is situated at 380 Sussex Drive. Admission to the Permanent Collection is free everyday.
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