MONTREAL, CANADA — We last covered the work of Léopold Foulem a little over a year ago when Garth Clark wrote about Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette at the Gardiner Museum. Go back and read that article if you haven’t yet (provided you’re not at work); there’s stuff in there that is not easily forgotten.
Above image: Léopold Foulem, Vase sculptural 1635, 2014, ceramic, 38.5 x 35.5 x 13.7 cm
Foulem exhibited recently at Galerie Luz in Montréal with Symmetry/Asymmetry (March 9 – April 2). Foulem uses vases to deny viewers symmetry, something people often take as a given with vases. Here’s what the gallery had to say about the works.
This series of recent and unpublished works develops a conceptual problem that addresses, among others, the contradictory notions of symmetry and asymmetry simultaneously present in a three-dimensional monolithic structure. Furthermore, the relation shape / surface caused by this occurrence radically changes the perception, the visual reading of the material image. The pictorial eccentricity of the outer wall accentuates the formal independence of the latter as well as the uniqueness and complexity of the artistic endeavour. One might conclude that this is not only two almost identical forms and superimposed, but also two unrelated artistic realities. The trunk of the object is decidedly cylindrical, but it is the surface, the integument and the side appendages that absolutely transform its eurhythmy.
The basic architectonic configuration of each structure is that of a composite unorthodox vessel erected with disparate individual sections. We must take into account when analyzing the divergent stylistic references between minimalism and baroque, fine art and decorative art, the handmade object and the found object, that all add to the works’ conceptual complexity ultimately resulting in a plastic aporia.
Since his solo exhibition Flashbacks in March 2015 at Galerie Luz, the works of Foulem have been presented among others in five museums, two in Canada, the McCord Museum and the Musée des maitres et artisans du Québec in Montréal, and three located in the United States, the Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, the Dinnerware Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Racine Arts Museum, Racine, Wisconsin.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.