* 1951 in Coburg, DE
lives and works in Berlin
Jo Schöpfer’s operate along the line between sculpture and architecture. His bronze sculptures resemble the steel skeletons of modern buildings—skyscrapers or residential blocks that structure both the space they surround and the space surrounding them, essentially constituting it in the first place.
No matter whether it is the orthogonal structure of Thresholds or the organic growth of Kristalle (Crystals) and Sfera, Jo Schöpfer moves from the structure by way of the perspectival quality of these structures to an open form that demands, in a sense, that the viewer move. As a result of that movement, the superficial contrast between organic and geometric form breaks down. It is replaced by an experience in which the object and its effect interpenetrate.
Jo Schöpfer’s drawings, in turn, are impressive for the restrained gesture of their creation. They are small etudes that need the generous surrounding space of the sheet to draw full attention to themselves. Schöpfer works out crystalline and architectonic forms, inscribing planes of watercolor into archaic structures. Completely autonomous and self-confident, these drawings assert themselves against the structural works, perhaps in part because they need not fear being misused as mere sketches.
In the encounter with viewers, Jo Schöpfer’s oeuvre develops its very own presence, sometimes with a grand gesture and then very calm and turned inward again. Some of his works seek proximity to the viewers while others keep them at a distance. Together they keep the viewers in motion, so that they cannot all too comfortably adopt any one perspective.