Joel Shapiro, 20 elements, 2004-2005, wood with casein
Did you know?
The sculpture 20 elements is Shapiro’s abstract version of French artist Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s huge marble sculpture entitled La Danse, shown in the photo below! Shapiro created the work using 20 different rectangular shapes made of plywood and painted in bright colors.
Recycled rectangular boxes of all shapes and sizes
Paint or markers
Hot glue gun, tape, or Elmer's glue
1. Gather your supplies! To make the shapes, use recycled material you find around the house such as used cereal boxes.
2. Carefully take each box apart; you will be painting or coloring the reverse solid side of the cardboard.
3. Choose a color for each box! Look at the bright colors used in 20 elements; you can incorporate these colors or choose your own favorite colors.
4. Paint the solid side of each cardboard box. Set aside to dry.
5. Once dry, carefully put back together the boxes using glue or tape.
6. Now it’s time to create your sculpture; use your imagination! Play with the rectangular shapes by stacking them together until you find a design you like best!
7. Once you're happy with your arrangement, glue or tape the boxes onto one another.
If you are unable to use a hot glue gun, we recommend tape before Elmer's glue. With any type of glue, make sure to hold the shapes in place to give the glue time to dry
Paint is recommended if you are working with larger surfaces, but markers will work too!
20 elements is meant to be viewed from all sides, so keep this in mind when you’re creating yours
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your sculpture! Have fun with it.