Léopold L. Foulem
Bathurst, New Brunswick, 1945 – Montreal 2023
Santa Claus-shaped, Anthropomorphic Stirrup-spout Vessel with Millefiori Surface
33 x 15 x 21 cm
Purchase, Suzanne Caouette Bequest, inv. 2020.49
Decorative Arts and Design
In a prolific career brimming with radical gestures, unforeseen juxtapositions and complex conceptual ideas, Foulem has made an indelible mark on contemporary ceramics. His pieces are characterized by their provocative, playful nature that challenges stereotypes and probes respected ceramic traditions. His works are based on conventional vessel forms, unified by a witty attack on the principles of utility and tradition. He challenges the container/content dichotomy inherent in the concept of the vessel, which he endeavours to reproduce while depriving it of its function. The shape of this sculpture is directly inspired by Moche stirrup-spout bottles, but it introduces the contemporary figure of Santa Claus and a surface decoration inspired by eighteenth-century Chinese ceramics.