Untitled (1984)

by Joel Shapiro (1941 - )

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin © 2016 for the Association for the Public Art
  • Title

    Untitled

  • Artist

    Joel Shapiro (1941 - )

  • Year

    1984

  • Location

    CIGNA Building, One Logan Square (interior), 18th and Cherry Streets; Limited public access

  • Medium

    Bronze

  • Dimensions

    Height 12′; width 8′; depth 8′

Commissioned by One Logan Square Associates

Owned by the property owner

At A Glance

  • The One Logan Square owners invited four artists to submit proposals and scale models

  • Simple shapes that look like a block of wood and four posts

  • The texture and the playful quality of the prancing figure provide a lively contrast to the lobby

  • Shapiro is a widely recognized contemporary sculptor whose style connects him to the minimalist movement

Made of simple shapes that look like a block of wood and four posts, Joel Shapiro’s energetic figure in the CIGNA lobby is caught in the midst of ambiguous activity. From different angles it suggests a variety of possible interpretations.

The texture and the playful quality of the prancing figure provide a lively contrast to the formal stone-and-glass walls of the lobby.

The corporate owners of One Logan Square recognized that the building’s proximity to such works as the Swann Memorial Fountain warranted contemporary art of comparable distinction. They conducted a nationwide study of existing public art, eventually inviting four artists to submit proposals and scale models. From these four they selected Shapiro, a widely recognized contemporary sculptor. Though his style connects him to the minimalist movement, his work is considered less austere, more “human” than some of the severe forms of minimalism. The sculpture for One Logan Square was the largest work Shapiro had yet produced. The bronze was cast from a wooden form, and the wood-grain detail was emphasized with a brown patina. The texture and the playful quality of the prancing figure provide a lively contrast to the formal stone-and-glass walls of the lobby.

Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).

Please note that there is limited public access at this location.

 

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