Slade School of Fine Art University College London
London WC1E 6BT
Born 1981 in London and studied at The Royal College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. Lilah Fowler is an artist working in sculpture, print and installation within research themes that have involved collaborations with mathematicians, architects and computational programmers, quantum physicists and geochemists.
Fowler’s practice is a questioning of the relationship between function, form and the art object, shaped by an interest in the design of urban and architectural space. Sculpture, image and other elements take on the combined form of installations that question the common, mutable languages that inform how we interpret our surroundings. The work reflects on research exploring a range of related issues, from the aesthetics of mass-produced objects to the sense of space created by our emerging digital culture.
Her work has been exhibited at world-wide venues including: The Museum Vasarely of Fine Arts, Hungary (2016), Galerie Gisela Clement, Germany (2015), Siobhan Davies Studios, London (2013), Maria Stenfors, London (2015, 2013), Clement&Schneider, Germany (2013), Malgras|Naudet & The Royal Standard, Manchester and Liverpool (2013), Joshua Tree Art Gallery, USA (2013), Cosmophobia, Berlin, curated by Tom Trevatt (2012), Bold tendencies5, London (2011), Cartel, London, curated by Oliver Basciano (2012), Kunsthal KaDe Amersfoort, Netherlands, curated by Keith Coventry (2011), Hannah Barry Gallery, London (2012), Art Futures Hong Kong, China (2011), Space in Between, London (2011), OVADA, Oxford (2010), Architectural Association, London (2009), MAXIMAL MINIMAL (2009), Switzerland, Hiscox Art Collection, London (2009). She is currently working on several permanent public commissions on Tottenham Court Road, London and Bristol's City Centre, see www.lilahfowler.com for further info.
Lilah Fowler is represented by Galerie Gisela Clement.
Research considerations cover several interconnected themes over time.
Architecture and Urban Design
This looks specifically at how the planning of natural and urban environments and their design values can effect social movement, interaction, and the intricate complexities of our experiences of and relationships to our surroundings. Examples look at highway-side architecture and the iconography and syntax of road travel, or the politics of contemporary society’s increasing proliferation of ‘non-places’. These non-places can be viewed as ambiguous, but productive and critical, gaps within contemporary society, and as a deliberate contrast to the pervasive accessibility of a growing digitized society. Within this theme, these architectural structures are compared with the materiality of the digital world; examining code as language and equating this to ‘real’-space, suggesting an analogy where space can be read both as text and passage.
Technology and the Contemporary Landscape
Here the research considers the sense of space created by our emerging digital culture: the cross-sections of car culture, the aesthetics of new power systems, and the infrastructure that underwrites our current technologies. The artworks that fall out of this research contemplate the often contradictory understanding we have of contemporary landscape, when it is shadowed or paired with technology, and virtual tools that are designed to aid our experience and navigation of our physical world. For instance, the mind and physical balance that occurs from the transformed global perspective that satellite maps give to our occupation of the space the under our feet. Such an examination uncovers a vast system of infrastructure, miles of cabling and data centres, often placed in remote desert locations.
Our contemporary landscape is now made up of infinite layers of ‘nature’, and this is a concept that I refer to as ‘nth nature’, a point that comes after farmed fields, to Google StreetView, on to a potentially infinite number of layers of what we might consider nature. ‘Nth nature’ is an expanded definition of landscape and nature, which takes into consideration our current ways of mapping, imaging and transforming our surroundings. It refers to the influence of power and politics on the alteration of landscape’s material and surface, how distant infrastructures including mines, wind, solar and data farms find their way into the mundane objects and interactions of our urbanised lives.
The core feature of this research is of finding new shapes in looking; here, this extends to how the digital and physical collide, when, after all, they both rely on a hidden infrastructure in remote locations. More specific details on the outcome of these themes in artwork can be found at: www.lilahfowler.com
Fowler joined Slade in 2010 and is based in Sculpture, teaching in the studios across BA/BFA & MA/MFA courses at the Slade School of Fine Art. Experience as a visiting lecturer include Byam Shaw School of Art, Central Saint Martins and University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.
How the mind comes to be furnished2016
Space in Between, London
Collaborative work with James Irwin
The Museum Vasarely of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Curated by Dora Mauer
Which pixel am I standing on?2015
Maria Stenfors, London, UK
Clement&Schneider, Bonn, Germany
Painting and Beyond2014
kunstgaleriebonn, Bonn, Germany
Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
Passage and pair2013
Maria Stenfors, London, UK
Just as reading a text is a journey from start to finish, the reading of an artwork and exhibition is dictated by the same process. Lilah Fowler's exhibition invites us to explore our relationship to space and our experience of it, the passage of moving through a physical space and experiencing its proportions and elements. Separate elements are disassociated from their original context, creating an unexpected pairing of matter and material. The forced arrangement of space rendering the familiar unfamiliar. Mathematically, they play with the artist's familiarity of the space, being a whole divided into a half and then a quarter, becoming a geometrical way of viewing spatial form. This is also repeated in the floor arrangements, thus becoming structures like the architectural landscape, reminding us of patterns, designs and plans for living spaces, but also the materials and components that make them up. A perpetual pairing of object and thought. The story is in the telling. Maria Stenfors is excited to present its first solo exhibition with London based artist Lilah Fowler. Fowler presents new works and installations in the gallery, reconfiguring the gallery space and our perception of that space. Broadly referencing modernist and brutalist architecture and the UK housing systems such as in Camden Council, where the gallery is located but also where the artist lives and works. Fowler's research expands across a magnitude of planning design concepts and here Albert Frey is worth mentioning as his colour scheme is resonant in the exhibition. Each unique site that Fowler intervenes in creates new responses and these factors and variants are key, and the intervention at Maria Stenfors is welcomed with excitement.
Lilah Fowler: Circles, props and edges2013
Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, London, UK
Siobhan Davies Dance had the pleasure to present an exhibition by artist Lilah Fowler, whose work explores the relationship between visual art, movement and space. Fowler created new work, which directly responded to the design and architecture of Siobhan Davies Studios. Fowler is particularly interested in the placement of artworks within the space and the way the audience navigates around them. Her work invites an awareness of the physical and psychological space, playing with illusion and perspective. Its placement encourages the viewer to explore around the objects, creating an individual sequence of movements and a spontaneous choreography. Fowler’s work is often concerned with the imprint of time upon an object and how it influences our experience of it. The ways in which an object can gradually lose its function and reason or change from its original purpose is a key idea in her work, and was reflected in the title of the exhibition. The tautology of ‘Round circles’ creates a sense of double vision and for this exhibition she created works in brass rings similar to hula hoops that propped against the building and a dance barre. They were static sculptures but at the same time they had the potential to be ‘props’ that could be picked up, used, or leaned against, inviting interpretation and reinterpretation. Fowler was also interested in the way that we react to space socially, collectively and individually, especially to planned spaces for living. The ‘edges’ in the exhibition title became synonymous with the boundaries that the encourages us to look at our building with fresh eyes.’ Alison Proctor, Programme Manager ‘After spending time in the Siobhan Davies Studios space, I became particularly aware of my movement and presence within the building, this being in terms of my relation to the architecture and objects. Rather than creating a choreographic pattern of objects in space I am taking a closer look at the architectural design of the building to echo and accentuate this by working intentionally with its designed surfaces.’ Lilah Fowler
The Royal Standard, Liverpool and Malgras Naudet, Manchester, UK
In Belly of Paris, Emile Zola described the artist Claude Lantier (the hero of his novel, The Masterpiece) rearranging the meat products in the window of his cousin’s butchers shop. He did this according to an aesthetic sensibility rather than a taxonomy of meat. Chops, confit and charcuterie were instinctively organised into a display that the painter Lantier described as his only true great work. Sales in the shop fell, Lantier was chastised by his cousin and he was never asked to look after the business again. The focus of artistic practice had, in fiction at least, shifted from a rendering of objects in a still life to an arrangement of them. Unspecific Objects questions the relationships between the art object and everyday objects. Without a focus on a particular medium or singular approach, the exhibition uses works by over twenty contemporary artists that contemplate the object in order to consider art’s enduring power to transform. Objects are manipulated, composed, constructed, remodelled, remade, rendered as image, placed, stacked, sculpted, painted or simply offered to the viewer. Some of the works are installed across the two sites of the exhibition; others present themselves as discreet objects. The cumulative effect of the works is a sustained focus on our relationship to things that surround us. Artists. Dan Fogarty | Sharon Hall | Rafal Topolewski | Milo Brennan | Tom Fish | Damien Meade | Kevin Hunt | Jo Addison | Laurence Callaghan | Paul Cordwell | Claire Fontaine | Lilah Fowler | Samara Scott | Caroline Achaintre | Tom Railton | Lucy Clout | Matilda Moors | Desmond Church | Benedict Drew | Andrew Mcdonald | Tom Godfrey | Michael White
Joshua Tree Art Gallery, Joshua Tree Desert, California, USA
kunstgaleriebonn, Bonn, Germany
Maria Stenfors, London, UK
Maria Stenfors is proud to present Endogenous; a two week exhibition of works on paper by five young artists, a musical performance, and a talk on economic bubbles in relation to the contemporary art world by Professor Jan Toporowski. In an age of austerity, where is the driving force for art and artists? Is the economic structure spurred on by external benefactors, or is art created and encouraged by a more internal structure? This series of exciting events from the platform of the gallery, brief in time and set in a domestic environment, plans to achieve a space where voices and inspirations that revolve around the gallery’s ethos have the opportunity to come together. Endogenous Growth Theory is a concept within economics used to highlight that economic growth can be developed and nurtured from within, rather than externally. Key to the concept is the belief that investment in the population and human capital is key to economic growth. Opening up the gallery agora to fantastic artists and their captivating new works, a dynamic musical performance of urban life, and contemporary economic theory, the events promise to be an exuberant start to the Autumn. Key to Endogenous is a works on paper exhibition by Francesca Anfossi, Eduardo Basualdo, David Cochrane, Lilah Fowler and Alan Magee. Each artist has been in an extended dialogue with the gallery, and this show takes advantage of the opportunity to present artworks by artists whose integrity the gallery has faith in.
BB#8: Dawdle Blackboard2012
SPACE, London, UK
L'Altelier Kunst Spiel Raum, Berlin, Germany
'What is an end? One shudders perhaps. An end? Are there more than one? Is not the very question a violation of sorts? A ruthless denuding? Should death be pushed so harshly into my awareness? Can she not wait? Is it not permissible to sleep?' -Nick Land, Thirst for Annihilation. Cosmophobia is characterised by an irrational fear of the cosmos and our place within it, that the universe will impose its malicious will against us in the form of some astronomical catastrophe or other. What this exhibition attempts, is to think through the opportunity of hopelessness. The curatorial proposition is that these six young artists are best placed to respond to or be affected by the political, economic and ecological territories that neoliberalism has bequeathed to us. Starting from a zero point of nihilist speculation art must think beyond the contemporary towards a realm of collected objectiveness divorced from the humanist promise of individual freedom. Upon the death of such ideology and the dawning of an age in which politics must transform into a category capable of making the move beyond its previous neoliberal dominion, art has a renewed mandate to engender a new political imaginary. L'Atelier - Kunst(spiel)raum is proud to present it's first group show, Cosmophobia, curated by Tom Trevatt, displaying the works of International artists Adam Thompson, Justin Gainan, Iris Touliatou, Lilah Fowler, Mikko Canini and Olve Sande.
A Piece of Paper2012
Madder 139, London, UK
Space in Between , London, UK
Lilah Fowler’s practice explores ideas around the imprint of time on an object and how it influences our relationship to space and experience. Her works are often installed in response to the gallery environment and address a serendipitous and spontaneous reaction to form, space and surface. With Fowler's work there is a play between illusion and perspective. The sense of physical and psychological place within and around the works and how the body navigates them is as important as their positioning.
Bold Tendencies 52011
Peckham Multi-story Carpark, London, UK
Hong Kong Art Fair: Art Futures2011
Hong Kong Art Fair: Art Futures, Hong Kong, China
Point. Line. Plane2011
Hannah Barry Gallery, London, UK
Kunsthal KaDe Amersfoort, Netherlands
End of Line2011
Waterside Contemporary, London, UK
OVADA, (Visual Arts Development Agency for the City of Oxford and the County of Oxfordshire) curated by Launch Collaborative: Architectural Disorder, Oxford
Modal: Lilah Fowler and Dan Miller2010
Cartel Gallery, London, UK
Bank of America Corporate Arts Programme, 20092009
Bank of America, London, UK
Corn Exchange Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Primopiano, Lugano, Switzerland
Brown, London , UK
Joshua Tree Artist ResidencyJoshua Tree Artist Residency, Joshua Tree Desert, California, USA
Joshua Tree Artist Residency (JTAR) in Joshua Tree Desert, National Park, California, USA. SIx week residency.
Essay by Jonathan Griffin
PURE LIGHT show catalogue, curated by Dora maker and published by Open Structures Art Society 2015
by Francesca Gavin