Joel Shapiro's uplifting Sculptures


Joel Shapiro

Pace Gallery, London

19th May - 17th June



Like walking in to a painting, is the only way I can adequately describe this. Shapiro’s seven sculptures are configured throughout the gallery space, some suspended from the ceiling, some seated as though resting on the floor. 

The bolts of vibrant colour and shape play with our perception of space and form. The angles and shapes of each piece unfold and change with each step. The overall experience is utterly joyful, there is a feeling like that of being a child, exploring the world and seeing something for the very first time. Feeling that awe and curiosity of the moment, like watching birds flying in formation across the sky for the first time.

Light plays a huge part in your experience here, changing the shadows and hues of the sculptures, the angle of vision, so the time of day you see them makes a huge difference.

Up close they sometimes just melt away into the air of the gallery, intensifying their illusion. They have a sense of weight and lightness, a sense of being. As though they could move or unfold into something else at any moment. What they all have though is your attention, they hold it, play with it; and this lasts, stays with you for days afterwards.


If you are a sculptor and you use colour, the colour has to mean something, do something to change your perception of the piece.
— Joel Shapiro