Fred Fowler joins Sophie Gannon Gallery - Art Collector

Fred Fowler, 'Night parrot sanctuary', 2018. Oil paint on canvas, 144.5 x 187cm. Courtesy: the artist and Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond.

Abstract artist Fred Fowler has joined the ranks of Sophie Gannon Gallery in his hometown of Melbourne, as his distinct painting style continues to make waves across Australia and beyond.

Fowler's landscapes do not take the traditional foreground-horizon composition. Instead, they are populated with clusters of symbols, collages, and silhouettes to form a semi-abstract representation of the physical, cultural and psychological landscapes of our times. For his recent works, Fowler has used Google Earth to study significant Australian landscapes and communities, employing technology to gain access to otherwise gated sites.

"You can go anywhere – the desert, down tiny side roads, into communities, and into massive mines – where in actuality you wouldn't get past the front gate," Fowler explains.

The affordances of such technology has allowed Fowler to create a series of works that capture the social tensions between the sites he documents – from the richest suburbs in the country to the detention centres at the crux of Australian immigration policy. While the subversive and political nature of Fowler's work remains ambiguous and camouflaged by their multi-layered composition, the relationships between native and invasive, conflict and resolution, are visible and readily open to reflection.

With a background in graffiti and street painting, Fowler has a close connection with the urban and suburban environments that shape our social, cultural and political being. After completing a Master of Fine Arts at the Victorian Collage of the Arts in 2012, Fowler's work has become more canvas-oriented, yet his murals and public artworks in Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Lyon and New York are a nod to his past.

Fowler's first solo show at Sophie Gannon Gallery will open in late 2019. Gallery director Sophie Gannon says: "The gallery is delighted to be representing Fred Fowler; his work is both playful, subversive and technically intriguing. I’m really looking forward to our first exhibition.”

Rose Leake

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