by: Kate Cox
There’s a new and pretty boffing brilliant exhibition coming at us next month from the Clay and Glass Gallery on Caroline Street in Uptown. It concerns itself with the dialogue surrounding maleness and notions of masculinity – subject matter that should really concern us all at this juncture. It is a remarkable chance to see this hot topic so adeptly addressed, by three different male artists in one show. If you like sculpture, and you care about men in and around your life, this one is a no-brainer!
The three artists explore their personal relationships with the traditional notions of masculinity and how this identity can be a fluid one.
The Croatian-born Srdjan Segan’s 40-foot elongated clay site-specific sculpture and 30-foot long drawings of the ‘every-human’ pull from his war experiences during the Serbo-Croation war. Srdjan Segan works mainly with drawing and sculpture. His work explores static movement and tensions within the human body and kinetic potential. With sculptural work and long drawings he activates physical relationships with the audience and architectural form. Srdjan uses the drawing as part of his sculpture, dictating space and how the viewer can physically negotiate his work. By combination of scale, site-specific installation, and juxtaposition of expression and specificity his work aims to generate novel environments in which viewers moving through are physically and visually challenged to react and engage. He uses this channel to connect to the consciousness of our own physical and spiritual presence. He sounds like a real-life shaman.
Neufeld was born and raised in small town Saskatchewan. Prior to pursuing a career in art, Neufeld spent three years with the Canadian military, which included a deployment to the former Yugoslavia in 1994. After a failed attempt pursuing a career as a firefighter, Neufeld began his BFA. One of the main concerns in his work is that of masculinity.
Next up, a series that really tickles my fancy – Clint Neufeld’s presents us with series of slip-cast ceramic auto transmissions and parts, decorated with delicate Rococo filigree and ornamentation. These delicate exoskeletal casts of dependable mechanical parts are elevated to fetishized objet by their exploration in ceramic. They sound dreamy, and on further inspection at Clint’s blog – http://www.clintneufeld.com – they seem like contemporary archaeological finds, all bleached white shiny bones of outdated mechanical beasts.
Finally, the infamous Quebecois ceramic sculptor, Léopold L. Foulem unveils his latest works, Bibelots. In this series the ceramic figurine—a kitschy cultural object—powerfully challenges the status quo. Pieces of collectable figurines and ceramic models seem stacked or morphed and reworked from their original compositions, into new totems of human compulsion. Much of his work is sexually charged, and he plucks and repositions commodified icons and visual cues from a maelstrom of mass-produced memorabilia. By repositioning this trite collectible, he pushes it past traditional class boundaries into a forum that is universally relevant. His work is understandable reminiscent of Jeff Koons and is as much about broader social expectation as it is about maleness.
If you haven’t been to the Clay and Glass Gallery, you really really really have to go. The space is inspiring, the content is inspiring, and it is moments from Uptown’s buzzing centre. It’s usually free to get in, open every day except Monday AND it has an amazing Gallery Shop, so either bring your credit card OR leave it in the freezer.