Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or erika@mmoca.org

JOEL SHAPIRO: THE BRONZES

September 23, 2018–January 13, 2019 (end date tentative)

MMoCA Opening Saturday, September 22 • 6–9 PM

MADISON, WI-The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) has organized Joel Shapiro: The Bronzes, an ambitious exhibition that seeks to connect broad audiences with one of the most influential sculptors working today. This major project will survey 15 of Shapiro's bronze sculptures dating from 1983 to 2015. The exhibition will occupy more than 8,000 square feet in MMoCA’s main galleries—the only venue where this exhibition can be seen. The artist will be in conversation with MMoCA director Stephen Fleischman during the opening reception on September 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Joel Shapiro has enjoyed a long and distinguished career. Shapiro's work can be found in numerous public collections in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Tate Gallery, London; IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Shapiro was elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Art in 1994 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998.  The French Minister of Culture awarded Shapiro the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005, and in 2013 he was honored with the National Art Award for Outstanding Achievement by Americans for the Arts. In April 2015 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Center.

This exhibition provides an opportunity to introduce Shapiro’s work to a new generation of artists, students, and museumgoers. Joel Shapiro: The Bronzes will be on view at MMoCA from September 23, 2018-January 13, 2019 (end date tentative). The exhibition features bronze sculptures that vary in size, including several large-scale works that are rarely seen indoors. Through bold geometric form, Shapiro's works explore the permeable boundary between abstraction and figuration. Shapiro's gravity-defying geometric constructions are suggestive of bodies in motion or holding dynamic poses.

To fully document Joel Shapiro: The Bronzes, MMoCA will publish a substantial and richly illustrated hardbound catalogue of the same title. It will contain a foreword by the exhibition’s curator and MMoCA director, Stephen Fleischman. The publication will also contain a major essay by the art historian and scholar, Peter Boswell.

Generous funding, to date, for Joel Shapiro: The Bronzes has been provided by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation; Ellen Rosner and Paul J. Reckwerdt; TravelWisconsin.com; The DeAtley Family Foundation; the David and Paula Kraemer Fund; Marv Conney; Dane Arts; Katie Howarth Ryan; the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation, Inc.; Lynda and Charles Clark; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.

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Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The museum’s four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: Tuesday through Thursday, noon–5 pm; Friday, noon–8 pm; Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.

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