Los Angeles

Will Fowler

David Kordansky Gallery

In his 2004 debut at David Kordansky Gallery, Will Fowler positioned painting as an analogue of paleontology by playfully exploring the fossils of modernist syntax. Deploying straight-from-the-tube acrylic colors in riotous assemblies of geometric shapes—circles, squares, triangles, and snaking paths—that cover each painting’s surface, Fowler pushed familiar, slyly referential forms into complex compositions, suggesting a rich, even allegorical potential for the medium without a whiff of irony or nostalgia.

For an untitled diptych in that show, Fowler collaged and then partially painted over several Xeroxed images of El Lissitzky’s layout of the design for the 1930 International Fur Trade Exhibition: an architectural model appropriately, if perversely, situated atop a splayed tiger skin. That image, trapped behind “bars” of colored paint, presented a provocative, willful confusion of

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