Modern Usage and Material: Art by Jacob Fowler

An installation made from plywood, cement and plantsInservice-Disservice-Pee Nervous, plywood, red oak, white cement, found plants

Jacob Fowler was born in Denver, Colorado. Now living and working in Los Angeles, the artist creates installations and two-dimensional works that place nature and tradition within a space of modern usage and material.


A sculpture with a sheet of cement painted with a quilt patternBest Town on Earth, cement, vinyl floor tile, OSB, wood composite siding, steel tubing, pine lumber, table legs

Many of the artist’s installation works feature components of plywood, found items or cement. I really like Jacob’s use of plywood, in particular. Each time it appears it seems to stand in for the form of a less-processed plant, tree or other form. In one case, foliage and stones are placed near and on-top of plywood, creating a jarring juxtaposition between the natural and the artificially processed.


A screen capture of the sculpture gallery in Jacob Fowler's portfolioJacob's sculptures on his portfolio website


These installations and sculptures seem to directly reference man-made cultural objects – cement blocks are painted with patterns associated with quilts, linoleum floors or mattresses, and wood is arranged in ways that imitate signage or heavy machinery. Jacob’s two-dimensional works also feature plywood and concrete heavily, though these works seem to be more of an exploration of how the two materials work together, in a vacuum. 


A triangular piece of plywood with cement embedded at its centerUntitled, concrete and plywood

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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