Oliver B. Schemm


Oct 2018


Artist Statement


I was born into a multicultural family.  My mother grew up in Amsterdam and my father, from Montana.   As the son of military physician I moved all over the world. To form a whole identity meant I had to combine incongruous elements in my life.  Creating sculpture is my distilled perception of the world in form. I see existence as a myriad of unending interactions and layers and it intrigues me to combine these elemental relationships in my work.  The narrative of history, memory and time are conveyed by my use of materials and composition. By uniting perceived function with absurdity I mimic human experience. Mixing time periods and cultural traditions helps me to organize and formally understand the flow and turbulence of the world.


My language for understanding existence is expressed in the dualistic nature of unions.  The symmetrical nature of my work relates to the balance and mirroring of forms and ideas in the physical world. The interstitial space between these unions becomes the connective tissue between disparate ideas and objects that bind with intense energy and creates a new whole.



My use of history, science, Deep Play, cold/warm materials, movement, tension, and a need to instill curiosity fuels my sculpture.  I use multiple sculptural methods including assemblage, casting, and subtractive carving to make sculptures that all at once are functionless machines, shrines, and personal and societal mile markers.


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