january 9- February 15, 2020
Detail: Florès. Photo by Pauline Male.
McBride contemporain is delighted to open our New Year season with Florès, a solo exhibition of Montreal artist Stephen Schofield. Produced during a residency in Limoges, France, at the Centre de recherche sur les arts du feu et de la terre, these figurative sculptures depict a single subject in a single expressive pose. From those common characteristics, the artist renders a different result through every consecutive remoulding of the figure, both in subtle and self-evident terms. Because each new porcelain piece shrinks in respect to its predecessor, through the process of moulding and firing, and undergoes both a loss and gain of detail and surface texture, Schofield creates a cycle of sculptures that both is and is not a series and an edition in the normal sense.
This strategic play on seriality fans out conceptually to generate suggestive and intriguing implications with respect to the process of making art, acting in habitual or repetitive fashion, and of being more generally, in time. This process of creation, which is also a form of de-creating, suggests a simple but profound possibility—that making and unmaking, presence and absence, stasis and transience, are all changing categories rather than fixed and distinguishable phenomena. As the studio process moves on in time and the final pieces are cast, the series reveals its countervailing theme of reversal and regression. Undoing is shown to produce an exquisite species of making or building. The resulting work is as beautiful as it is troubling, and as enjoyable for its plastic qualities as it is moving for its human ones.