Meet a NYFA Artist: Adam Fowler

Meet a NYFA Artist: Adam Fowler

untitled. 34 by 20 inches. 2011. Graphite on paper, hand-cut, 2 layers.

NYFA speaks with Adam Fowler, NYFA Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists Books, 2011.

NYFA: Hello Adam, thanks for speaking with us. Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on and what’s coming up for you?

AF: I recently had a show at Margaret Thatcher Projects in New York, Trilogy, which revolved around three large-scale layer intensive drawings. Since then I’ve been working on more modest pieces, going back in a way to my older work. These pieces will be shown in San Francisco at Brian Gross Fine Art this May.

I will have work in a group show at the Kunsthalle Galapagos in DUMBO later this month, and a group show at Christopher Henry Gallery on the Lower East Side in May. I have also been continually working on a very large-scale drawing which is in its very early stages, but I anticipate it being a very important work.

NYFA: What’s the most layers one of your drawings/sculptures has had? [Fowler’s practice involves cutting out and layering graphite lines and loops. View his process at MADMuseum.]

AF: My drawing at the Museum of Arts and Design was 74 layers. It was the most layers I had done at the time as well as being my largest drawing. After the MAD show, I felt like I needed to continue working larger. I then made three pieces for Trilogy, which were all larger than the MAD piece, one of which had 88 layers.

NYFA: What is your studio or workspace like?

AF: I work in my apartment, mostly because of convenience and finance, as my studio practice doesn’t require much space and I don’t work with any toxins. There is also something to be said about working in a comfortable space — and never really being able to completely relax at home because of the drawing in the corner of your eye.

NYFA: Can you tell us a bit about your experiences growing up?

AF: I had a pretty conventional suburban childhood, raised outside of Washington, DC. I had difficulty in school but always excelled in art classes, and was encouraged by my family and teachers to follow my interest in art. When I was in high school I started attending open program classes at the Corcoran School of Art, studying screenprinting.

NYFA: How does your background inform your work?

AF: I started printmaking as a teenager, and although I don’t make many prints now, I think that there is a devotion to process and detail that is a direct result of my early printmaking.

NYFA: Who or what is influencing you most strongly right now?

AF: I make sure to see a lot of what artists are doing now, but honestly, I try to keep a clear mind when working. I think my interest in contemporary art is in the experimentation in process, materials and even technology.

NYFA: What is your psychological and emotional relationship with your work like?

AF:The way I work is split into two processes. The first, making the drawing, is very intense and mentally draining. The second — which involves the tedious process of cutting — while somewhat physically demanding, is quite meditative.

NYFA: How did the NYFA Fellowship affect you? What did it go towards?

AF: Being selected for the fellowship was an honor, and has given me the feeling that what I’m doing locked away in my studio is relevant and valid. The money went towards materials and framing and was a big help.

NYFA: Thank you for your time, Adam!

Amy Aronoff
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