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November 21, 2003 - Image 87

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Holocaust experience
that I was trying to
reach."
Shapiro, who grew
up in New York City,
recalls an early com-
mitment to becoming
an artist and a later
determination that
resulted from two
years of living in India
and serving in the
Peace Corps. His
artistry became about
using materials as the
language to express
ideas through inven-
tion, development and
rearrangement.
_
While a consider-
able amount of the
artist's effort goes
into sculpture that is
self-initiated, there
also are many pieces
done on commission.
His work is part of
the collections of
diverse museums,
Joel Shapiro, Untitled, in wood, 2000
from Italy's Museum
of Modern Art to the
Detroit Institute of
include a section for his wife, painter
Arts. In Detroit, a standing abstract
Ellen
Phelan, who is from Michigan
figure allows viewers to see inside
and studied art at Wayne State
the piece and experience a kind of
University.
intimacy with the structure before
Shapiro believes that growing up
them.
around
artists gave daughter Ivy an
The Tel Aviv Museum purchased a
understanding
that translates into
complicated sculpture, while the Israel
her
strength
as
an art dealer.
Museum in Jerusalem had an exhibit
"There's a certain comfort in being
of his work in 1981, when he spent six
married to another artist," says
weeks there preparing the structures
Shapiro, who enjoys cooking as a
and deciding to leave a big portion of
casual pastime. "There's some reas-
his work.
surance in a constant discourse
about work.
"We won't be in the same studio
Comes From Within
because I need a certain amount of
"I would like to think that anything
privacy to have thoughts and devel-
done on commission comes from
op thoughts. I think that the mean-
within me," explains Shapiro, who
ing of art is about an inner necessity
next spring will be guest of honor at
that transcends context. It is not so
an event planned by the West Coast
much
about what is described but
Friends of the Israel Museum.
what something means.
"Otherwise it would be a failure. If
"I've been working on projects
somebody said this is the specific
about
internal projection and looser
theme and you have to deal within
organization
and finding more radi-
these parameters, I would turn it
cal
uses
of
form
and space. Some of
down. It would inhibit me, and
these
pieces
are
very
large."
there wouldn't be enough freedom to
exercise my real thinking about the
subject."
Joel Shapiro: Off the Wall: 1976-
Shapiro labors in a large studio in
2003 runs through Jan. 24 at the
New York, where wooden models
Susanne Hilberry Gallery, 700
often serve as the preliminary stages
Livernois, Ferndale. Gallery hours
for larger metal sculptures. He is
are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-
renovating space for a new studio in
Saturdays. (248) 541-4700.
Long Island City, where he will

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11/21
2003

83

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