1966-68 - metal: aluminum
Angular and brilliant white in color, 'Shorepoints I' belongs in part to the Minimalist art movement wherein right angle forms and simple, geometric abstraction defined sculpture of the 1960s. Yet there is more than meets the eye as one examines Rosati’s work carefully. 'Shorepoints I' consists of several irregular volumes each comprised of six straight-edged planes, eight corners, and twelve linear intersections where the planes meet. Examining the work in-the-round provides the viewer not only with surprisingly varied perspectives, but with a greater appreciation for the effects of light on the sculpture.
As Rosati remarked on this issue in an interview recorded by William C. Seitz in 1969:
"…I never could let go of the idea that a mass of form was a big chunk…a monolith. I found that if you set it up, perfectly horizontal and vertical—all sides—the light hits it the same, and it’s equal. But if you take the same form and cut it down until it is slightly diagonal, you’ll find that the light will hit it more strongly at one end and will diminish toward the other. This is a natural physical phenomenon, not chiaroscuro. … It not only gives the masses power, it takes away that solid weight about them." – excerpt from William C. Seitz, “Rosati: Masses in Elevation,” Art News, December 1969, 41.
Undeniably the volumes appear to be weightless—their sheer mass elevated and delicately balanced. Rosati’s work is purely abstract and begs the question, “What does it mean?” In an essay, Albert Elsen responds:
"…a sculptor like Rosati works from wordless experience that makes it difficult or impossible for him to translate the visual and intuitive nature of his sculpture’s source into the language of verbal discourse. … If his work inspires various interpretations and, so long as other intentions are not ascribed to him, the sculptor is content: his art has touched the imagination and life of strangers." – Albert Elsen, James Rosati: Recent Monumental Sculpture, (New York: Marlborough Gallery, 1 May – 6 July 1984), 5 – 6.