Doll, Nancy, “Acquisitions”, Calendar, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, January 1991
Newly installed in the Leadbetter Lobby is the recent gift of a fine and representative work by New York-based artist, Roy Fowler. It’s monumental scale, gestural paint application, and intersection of abstract pattern with landscape imagery are all characteristic of the artist’s work. Fowler attempts to reconcile varying interests and influences, particularly those of nature and culture. He received his B.F.A. from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB in 1976. And has returned as a visiting instructor there on numerous occasions. His continuing response to the natural beauty of the Southern California landscape merges with the more formal concerns of abstract painting. Particularly in works such as this untitled painting, the two aspects are locked in a structural and coloristic grid, in which neither scheme predominates. The landscape image is fragmented by the effect of superimposed, semi-fragmented blocks of color marking it off into segments. The viewer is thereby urged to continually adjust his or her perception, between realistic image and abstract pattern, as well as to “read” the totality of the image from its various parts.
Fowler’s work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, and in Santa Barbara, most recently at the Contemporary Arts Forum in 1988. He is represented by the Anne Plumb Gallery in New York City where he had a solo exhibition in 1990. –Nancy Doll
“Acquisitions”, Calendar, Santa Barbara Museum of Art