Beginning in the 1960s, many sculptors sought to present art in its most essential state, stripping it of what they felt to be the distractions of content. They removed representational elements to pare the object down to its primary structure. A classic example of this minimalist approach is Ronald Bladen’s monumental *Three Elements* on the adjacent lawn. In this sculpture Shapiro reworks the spare geometric vocabulary of minimalism, creating intriguing, ambiguous forms that engage the viewer’s memory and imagination. Although without a suggestive title, this sculpture refers unmistakably to the human body—a skater, perhaps, or a dancer alighting en pointe.
Joel Shapiro, *Untitled*, 1989–90, cast bronze, H. 101 1/2 × W. 42 × D. 78 in. Purchased with funds from various donors, by exchange