Artspace names Aaron Fowler in "10 of the Best New Artists at the Untitled Art Fair," by Andrew M. Goldstein

November 30, 2016

Dec. 8, 2016

When the 28-year-old St. Louis-born artist Aaron Fowler was finishing his MFA at Yale two years ago, about to set off into an uncertain career in the art world, he began a body of work that cast himself in the role of a pilgrim venturing into the American frontier. As befits a Yale grad, these paintings were intensively researched, dipping back into the work of such 19th-century artists as Charles Marion Russell and Frederic Remington for images of settlers and their encounters with Native Americans—only replacing the settlers with his own African-American family. 


Now these works, built from discarded materials he finds around his Brooklyn studio and then layered with digitally printed imagery, have become a sensation. The Rubells—who, according to Fowler’s dealer, Diane Rosenstein, consider him the “next great American artist”—have given him a large, impressive room in their newest group show, and ArtReview has likewise dubbed him a “future great.”


At the fair, Fowler has presented an important artistic document from his starry pilgrim’s progress: a large composition, based on treaty paintings that commemorate pacts between settlers and Native Americans, that relates the moment that Fowler decided to join Rosenstein’s gallery. (He wasn’t sure he wanted to work with one, and is still mulling over the traditional dealer-artist format.) On one side is Fowler, his family, and LeBron James (for good measure); on the other side, in the place of the Native Americans, is Rosenstein and her team.