May Yeung: We are surrounded by some of Adam Fowler’s newest works. They are part of a show called Escaping Forward. We’ve been working with him now for about eight years and over that time we’ve seen his work really grow more gestural, more organic.
Behind me here is Untitled, 41 layers, it is the largest work ever completed by the artist and is composed of 41 drawings. None of the drawing are continuous throughout this composition however it’s set up in a way and installed that it seems to be continuos.
Adam Fowler: There is no such a thing as pure abstraction in a sense, because everything relates, all of these pieces do refer to something in nature. Working with materials that most people have a relationship with, they can understand the process more than, say if it was a sculpture or a painting. With each drawing the process starts while I’m working on the last drawing. A lot of it is reacting to the piece that I’m working on now in my mind, thinking about how I would change it, do it differently.
For instance this 41-layer wall piece takes a lot of mapping out in order for it to work right and I have to compose it in a way that each layer, each sheet of paper doesn’t look like it’s an ending or a beginning but rather the continuous composition. Generally, all of the drawing is done at the same time. For a long time the work that I was doing with this process and even before the process, the gesture was extremely non-objective and I thought of the work being field pieces or field work so there is no specific compositional elements that really took the viewer’s eye.
So this piece really has three very specific gestures, and this is a result of trying to make a piece in this scale with the paper that I’m using.
My work is really two separate practices: the drawing, which is a very quick process and the cutting. The cutting is so peaceful and so easy and so enjoyable.