Having exhibited widely over the past two decades in the US, Fowler is one of the most significant artists of her generation, using art and language to disrupt and unsettle the dominant power structures that control much of the world around us.
This exhibition will reflect and further expand on the artist’s intense feminist engagement with the words of Gertrude Stein over the past eight years. Since 2010, Fowler has created a beautiful body of work centred on Stein’s expansive writing practice, taking the form of posters, prints, billboards, paintings, and installations employing materials such as vinyl, neon, collage, print, painting and film. In speaking about the artist and her linguistic obsession, writer Litia Perta has commented that “across a distance of nearly a century, Fowler’s work literally commingles with Stein’s: gets close to it, pulls strands out, knits phrases back in, asks us to be near it, to think toward it.”
Fowler’s work will fill DCA’s galleries over the summer and also reach beyond the walls of the institution to appear in public spaces across Dundee, punctuating the Scottish landscape with Stein’s prescient words.
Within DCA, Gallery 1 will be given over to the artist’s latest film with it which it as it if it is to be, which premiered recently at Participant Inc in New York. This 16mm work is an intimate portrait of some of Fowler’s closest friends in the LA artistic community: the camera focuses on several female artists working in their studios with an accompanying soundtrack of their voices reading from Stein’s 1910 text Many Many Women. Yin Ho, writing in Artforum, described this film as “a quietly explosive work: a subtle, simple document of female camaraderie and process, and the subdued magic of everyday life.”
Across Gallery 2 will be a constellation of works in painting, print, neon, vinyl and collage – all further exploring some of Stein’s most radical writings, bringing them into the twenty-first century and highlighting the queer power and possibilities contained within these texts. The exhibition will also premiere several new works: two paintings, a huge vinyl installation based on Stein’s poem Patriarchal Poetry, a body of new collage work created whilst on residency in Scotland, and a new sound work recorded on 12” vinyl that will be played in the gallery at specific times of the day.
Finally, several pieces will be appearing across the city over the course of the exhibition on poster boards, at bus stops, and on billboards, opening up spaces for poetry and contemplation in urban areas normally reserved for blunt advertising and capitalistic gain.
We’re thrilled to also be publishing a new book as part of this project, gathering together an intimate community of artistic voices alongside Fowler’s, with newly commissioned texts from outstanding writers and poets such as Sophie Collins, Eileen Myles, and Litia Perta. Fowler is also working with the DCA Print Studio team to develop a new limited edition print for the exhibition.