January 10 to March 2, 2013
Koffler Gallery Off-Site
General Hardware Contemporary, 1520 Queen St. West
Curator: Mona Filip
The Koffler Gallery Off-Site presents the first solo exhibition in Toronto of Saskatchewan-based artist Clint Neufeld, comprising recent sculptural works and light-box vinyl drawings. Starting from personal recollections, Neufeld mines his regional prairie past and relationships with male figures in his life, articulating an investigation of masculine/feminine dichotomy and notions of beauty, labour, and materiality.
For the past few years, Neufeld has been working with mechanical equipment and tools, casting them in delicately painted ceramic, porcelain or wax and staging them on domestic furniture and parlor accoutrements. The fanciful car engines, transmissions, valves, and excavating buckets role-play as dandies and socialites, transposed to materials and settings traditionally associated with fine dinnerware and tea parties. Divested of their functionality and steely power, the fundamental nature of these utilitarian devices shifts as they become strange objects of beauty meant for contemplation.
Engines hold a significant place in the collective memory of our car-centric society, evoking inherited perceptions of masculinity. By altering their materiality, Neufeld subverts their masculine character and the inherent connotations they hold as meaningful cultural objects. Furthermore, the mechanical parts the artist selects predominantly date from the 1950s and 60s, a time when nothing was yet digitally controlled and everything could be fixed with the right knowledge and a few tools. Triggering private associations, the sculptures allow for a moment of unlikely intimacy, becoming vessels of memory connecting personal and collective histories.
Clint Neufeld: Pipe Dreams of Madame Récamier is generously supported by Tamara and Gary Fine & Tippet-Richardson