Sunday, 16 June 2013

Alex Fowler's Show in London

Having missed the preview on Thursday, I only managed today to go and see Alex's show at Russell Gallery in Putney, London.
I have known Alex for a few years, having met him during some open studio session, but I get to see him much more often recently because we share teaching duties for our Tuesday painting class at Chelsea Fine Arts.

Alex's distinct and confident paint handling is showcased in the works on show. I envy the ease with which he tackles still-life, landscapes and figures.

I was telling him today how much his sharp intellect shines through the painterly decisions he makes, some of the apparently simple marks he makes are just so clever ! Having visited him in his studio in Chelsea a few times, I am always fascinated by the amount of consideration that goes in the composition of his work. 

Among the works in the show, I liked this simple bottle still life for the ambiguity of the space and the balance in the partition of the canvas. The flat surfaces are always layered and interesting to look at.
The show includes five paintings from a series of works that depicts a card table with books.
These are apparently "found still-lifes", the sort of compositions that seem to be casually born from activities in the studio, but in fact they are carefully assembled, the books deliberately chosen for their colours and precisely positioned.

The green top is the common element of the series: both a flat diamond shape and a surface that slices the space questioning the position of the painter to the set-up and the nature of linear perspective.

On display also are the views he painted during a recent trip to Jerusalem. 
Alex's saturated palette is particularly suited to the blue skies of the Mediterranean basin. Having visited Jerusalem for the first time last year, the paintings immediately recalled the quality of the light I experienced there.

Among my favourites was this view of the Holy Sepulchre, wedged in the narrow street of the Old City as the small portion of the sky is wedged among the large shapes on the canvas. 

More shots from the installation. There is a pdf catalogue that can be downloaded here

The show is on until the 29th of June; definitely worth a visit if you are in town, otherwise check out Alex's website or his Facebook page.


Candace X. Moore said...

Great review, Ilaria. I learned so much from your concise comments. I agree...the paintings are anchored by some very solid intellect. Thanks for the visual treat.

Maike Josupeit said...

thank you too, Ilaria, enjoyed very much your post about Alex.