‘The artist’s role is no longer to create a work but to create creation’
During his lifetime, the innovative works created by the Hungarian-born French artist, Nicolas Schöffer (1912–1992) provoked swift reactions and brought him a level of renown rare among artists of his generation. Awarded the Grand Prize for sculpture at the 34th Venice Biennale in 1968, Schöffer personifies an age focused on the future.
Produced under the expert direction of Arnauld Pierre to accompany the Schöffer exhibition at the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art in Villeneuve d’Ascq, this major publication focuses on the visionary dimension of the artist’s work. Its point of departure is a selection of emblematic sculptures, paintings, drawings, and documents, including a number of never previously seen works, drawn directly from the artist’s studio and archives. Complementing Schöffer’s ground-breaking creations and his cross-disciplinary collaborations with architects, musicians, choreographers, scientists, and industrialists are selected documents setting each of the works in the original context of its creation, dissemination, and reception.
At a time when new possibilities are opening up in cybernetics and reshaping not only the physical world (with the information society and the new digital cultures) but also our collective imaginations (with the global village and the concept of the post-human), the forward-looking work and ideas of Nicolas Schöffer are acquiring renewed relevance.
Against this background, the publication of a work that looks in detail, and in its entirety, at an enduringly inspiring artistic career makes eminent sense.
Lille Métropole, musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut (LaM), Villeneuves-d’Asque,23 February - 20 May 2018