In the Studio with Joel Shapiro: “A Metaphor for the Human Spirit”

joel-shapiro-featureJoel Shapiro favors human-sized work. “I’ve tried to avoid the colossal,” the artist remarked when I visited his studio. “I always think of parts that correspond to our own dimensions.  Another big issue in sculpture is how you join things together and how that influences the nature of the form.” His publicly sited works are both abstract and slightly figurative. In a way, his art mediates between architecture and the viewer.  He is continually experimenting with ways to balance and put together off-center, asymmetrical compositions. Continue reading

Sound Off | Janet Cardiff

cardiff1-featureAn installation in The Cloisters’ Fuentidueña Chapel demonstrates how contemporary art can invigorate a historic setting. The Forty Part Motet, 2001 is a fourteen-minute sound installation by the Canadian artist Janet Cardiff (b. 1957). Within the twelfth-century limestone apse in this Romanesque space, Cardiff has installed forty human-height high fidelity audio speakers which line the boundaries of the room. The speakers are displayed at eye level on a thin support and summon a figurative presence. Continue reading