Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette

Robin Metcalfe

Gardiner Museum
144 pp 86 col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover  
$28.00 Can. $35.00 U.S.
Available January 2015

campfires.gifspacer.gifThe Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts breaks new ground with this exhibition catalogue dedicated to the work of three Canadian ceramic artists, each of whose work is marked by a gay aesthetic sensibility. The concept of ‘camp’ has been variously understood to include elements of irony, exaggeration, excess, humour, sentimentality, theatricality, artifice, parody and devotion - all of which are amply demonstrated here. Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette have worked with themes pertaining to the gay male experience in their art for more than three decades. Their shared perception that they are outside of the artistic and social mainstream has driven them to create an aesthetically powerful and intellectually engaging body of work that is rooted in and critical of conventional art history, ceramic history and contemporary culture. Extensively illustrated, this survey of the artists’ oeuvre highlights their subversive historicism, their conceptual use of clay, and Queer identity. In English and French.

Léoplod L. Foulem is a recipient of both the Jean A. Chalmers National Crafts Award in and the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts and is among the first Canadian ceramists to have his work collected by the Victoria & Albert Museum. Foulem is a recognized world authority on Picasso’s ceramic work, with his research resulting in a number of publications. Paul Mathieu is recipient of the Jean A. Chalmers National Crafts Award, the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts, and the Governor General Award in Visual Arts. He is the author of Sexpots: Eroticism in Ceramics and The Art of the Future: 14 Essays on Ceramics. Richard Milette has work in public collections around the world, notably Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, the Gardiner Museum, the Musée du Québec, Royal Ontario Museum, the Allan Chasanoff Collection (North Carolina), the Racine Art Museum (Wisconsin), and the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art (New York).

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