Background information

1990, Joel Shapiro. 11'H x 7'L x 2'W

In 1989, two years after New York City artist Joel Shapiro was selected to be an artist for the Federal Center project, his design was accepted by the GSA. Cast in five parts, the $209,000 work was fabricated in early 1990, and then placed in storage in New York while Shapiro and the architect worked on mounting details. Beginning in mid-1990, the sculpture was displayed for six months in the Doris Freeman Plaza at the entrance of Central Park in New York City while the Federal Center was completed.

After the work was installed at the Federal Center in October, 1991, Shapiro felt the adjacent wall diminished its visual impact. He and the GSA subsequently agreed that the sculpture would be better sited in the lawn adjacent to the outdoor cafe of the Edward R. Roybal Building. Nevertheless, the work has not been moved because of a lack of funds.

Suggesting a figure doing a cartwheel, the one ton sculpture exhibits a tension typical in Shapiro's works between the depiction of the human figure and the abstract minimalist forms that make up the piece.

The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, September 1997.

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