3554

“Stepped Density (directional study)”

1999
pencil and marker on inkjet
13.75” x 11″

BodySpace, The Washington Post

…In “Schafer’s “Stepped Density” series hover in a perfect
middle ground between high formalist aesthetics and low commercial culture,
as though a minimalist artist like Donald Judd or Tony Smith were to moonlight
doing mall decors, not waiting tables but making them.

Riffing on the ergonomics of fast-food furniture design, Schafer presents a
four-foot square of steel flat on the ground, painted in flawless sea-blue lacquer,
from which sprout eight “stools” topped with perfectly round discs
unmodified to cradle living rears. There’s every marker of pure sculpture in
the geometric rigor and high finish of these pieces– the artist has left instructions
that the museums no-touch rule should be strictly enforced–along with every
invitation to take them for granted as the unnoticed machinery of commerce.

Schafer’s sculptures present a kind of apotheosis of modernist purity, such
as you’d find in the most high-minded abstract art, made to serve the needs
of Burger King. Or maybe it’s the other way around: This is a mall designer’s
Platonic dream of order in the food court.

Blake Gopnik
The Washington Post
“BodySpace”

Baltimore Museum of Art