Adam Fowler: Trilogy, Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY

Adam Fowler, untitled (5 layers), 2010
Graphite on paper
10 x 5 inches

January 6 – February 12, 2011

Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to announce the opening of Trilogy, an exhibition of new works by artist Adam Fowler. The artist’s third solo show with the gallery, Trilogy represents Fowler’s most ambitious and complex work to date.

Fowler’s deeply meditative and process-oriented work emerges from the fusion of near-polar actions. Beginning with sweeping, automatic drawings of organic lines, ellipses and circles, Fowler lays down graphite on sheet after sheet of archival paper. After the initial drawings are formed, the artist begins the painstaking work of removing all the unmarked space with an X-acto knife, tracing each arch and curve to create lacelike, skeletal objects. The sheets are then stacked one on top of another, forming dense, complex compositions. The result is neither drawing nor sculpture, but hovers in a newly carved space between the two.

By turning such acute attention to commonplace materials, Fowler creates a new sensitivity to the familiar. The natural associations and knowability, as well as the ubiquity of paper and pencil as a drawing material are completely recontextualized as the grounding element of negative space is removed, leaving the viewer with a perplexed sense of familiarity; the process obscures the medium. Fowler’s works re-enliven the notions of what pencil and paper can or ought to do. They drift in a formal limbo between drawing and sculpture, additive and subtractive processes, the swift aleatoric action of automatic drawing, and the calculated deliberateness of carving away the excess.

At once labyrinthine and intimate, Fowler’s pieces draw the viewer into an inimitable province of tone and texture, infused with an otherworldly sense of calm and rhythm. “It’s not the time invested in each work that I want the viewer to think about when they first see my work,” explains Fowler. “Rather, I hope that they are aware of a quiet intensity and concentration that comes from a meditative state.”

A recipient of the Krasner-Pollock foundation grant, Fowler has exhibited drawings at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC and the Drawing Center, NYC. His work has also been published in the Harvard Review.