Lilah Fowler: Band
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Space In Between’s modest gallery has a quiet studio-like atmosphere. Their exhibitions appear to place slight emphasis on process as opposed to polish – and, as with Lilah Fowler’s presentation, the works on display often come to represent the unfolding of a new departure, the testing of a problem or the wrangling with an impasse. Not that Fowler’s works remain undone. On the contrary; these sculptures talk directly of finish and their composition and arrangement is the result of great consideration. This body of work has benefitted from the opportunity to respond directly to the gallery space, and the great concentration allowed by working on such a specific scale. While Fowler’s new sculptures are indebted to her long-held commitment to the vagaries of phenomenological perspective (her geometrical forms often play with optical illusions or points of view), they signal a new interest in the decorative.
Three steel frames, pale, geometric and intertwined, comprise ‘Pie, Diamond, Triangle’ (the elegant sculpture taking centre stage). Carving its surrounding space into a complex series of planes, this quiet assemblage is flanked by wall-based sculptures on either side – ‘Motif’, a black disc and ‘Band’, a white ring. Disrupting the monochromatic schema – a formula that talks of Fowler’s occupation with the history of minimalist art, design and constructivist architectural elements – one of the frames has been covered in a light blue, patterned fabric.
The result is a sort of narrative hiccup.This insertion flicks these works into a strange string of associations, encompassing embellishment and ornament, and reducing the significance of the frame’s form in lieu of its surface. Causing a constant exchange between paying attention to spaces and forms – both solid and immaterial – and attending to veneers, this seemingly simple intervention presents a significant divergence for this artist,