Artist: Brendan Fowler
Venue: Rental, New York
Exhibition Title: Brendan Fowler at Rental Fall 2009
Date: Fall, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Rental, New York
RENTAL is proud to announce its first solo exhibition of new works by artist Brendan Fowler entitled Brendan Fowler at Rental Fall 2009. The opening reception will be held on Sunday October 25 from 6 to 9pm. A special surprise performance, as part of Performa 09, will take place in the gallery on Sunday November 15, from 1 to 6pm.
Initially best known for his performances, and increasingly for his object based works, Brendan Fowler at Rental, Fall 2009 continues the artist’s growth into the sculptural territory of an interdisciplinary practice. Framed photographs and silkscreened prints crash in violent compositions that Fowler began as an attempt to capture the percussive rhythms of free jazz. As an undergrad, Fowler studied free jazz alongside printmaking, and now, more than twelve years later, he marries the two out of the hope that free jazz, as a form, will inform his practice and serve as an opening in his work. After a considerable hiatus from his focus, it is a rhythm, which has, in recent years, come back to his work in earnest.
Although never conceived as such, Fowler’s long running project, BARR, was often referred to in terms of motivational speaking set to music. Just as his performance and sound works were heart-on-sleeve biographical, so, too, is his object based work entirely personal. This show functions largely as a memoir of the current— Fowler’s life circa 2009— as it unpacks itself in real time. Actual “cancelled” performance tour posters formed the departure point for his contributions to a four person show at Rental in the Spring. While in the current show a series of further negated versions of these same posters form the basis for the work. Fowler plays with time and the physical memory of space as he considers the new works specific to the same walls where his works in the group show hung. His day job is at a magazine, and the cement blocks which hold up the show’s sculptural centerpiece are cast from the boxes in which the magazines are shipped. Many of the works in the show are incidentally photographed in various stages of progress in his studio.
Increasingly, Fowler is developing games around the transparency of his content. Two of the primary visual elements are flowers, which Fowler has inserted as “the penultimate, universally un-specific signifier for aesthetic ‘beauty;'” and, standing in stark and hyper specific contrast, a reproduction of an unspecified interview in which Fowler explains, verbatim, most of the references in the show. His dialog is simultaneously opening up as it narrows in. For the first time in his work we see cancellation strategies which inch at pure abstraction, but given the work’s stated formal starting reference of improvised music, the same abstractions could be taken as signifiers for a “crash” or “tonal wash.” Pure gesture functions as a specific reference unto itself, and Fowler complicates the conversation a step further.
Brendan Fowler (b. 1978) has exhibited in solo exhibitions with Rivington Arms in New York and 2nd Cannons Publications in Los Angeles. He was included in The New Museum’s inaugural Triennial, Younger Than Jesus, earlier this year. He has performed at The Kitchen and New Museum in New York, David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, at the Frieze and NADA art fairs and at countless rock clubs, independent DIY venues and independent spaces internationally.
Link: Brendan Fowler at Rental