Adam Fowler’s “Escaping Forward” at Margaret Thatcher Projects
The goal is to surpass the limitations of the medium. For example, how do you make an opaque surface appear “transparent” and open, is it possible to give direction to a stationary object and how do you expand past the dimensions of the surface itself? Or, say, you have a single sheet of paper that measures 27″ x 40″, is it possible then to create a single continuous installation that extends well past these dimensions? Adam Fowler resolves the first issues by carefully mapping out, drawing and then layering sheets of incised paper in a way that allows his gestures to appear open or dense, approaching or receding, ordered or random, depending on the artist’s vision. The only indication we get of the depth of each individual work is from the title itself. Untitled, 3 would have 3 layers of paper, Untitled, 7 – 7, Untitled, 41 – well, you get the idea.
In works like this there is always a danger of over-ambitious chaos taking over what’s meant to be a simple composition and creating noise, but Adam’s work, regardless of the density of gesture and paper, carries within it a balance and becomes almost meditational. Adam’s methodic approach to his work is impressive, but what’s far more interesting is the rhythm he created with every composition. Even though he referred to the drawing process as being highly stressful – her prefers cutting the paper, Adam’s gestures – drawn in a scale of grays – are confident and fluid. There is a clear sense of purpose for every intersection, every loop and every expanded curve and that confidence is what brings the viewer back to start and continue the dialogue with the artwork.
Video interview transcript on page 2