eve fowler’s a spectacle and nothing strange lives up to the first part of its name: the series of 21 posters, currently hanging in a long corridor at the museum of modern art , is entirely spectacular, arresting for the way it combines spare design and type with deliriously bright colors. yet, despite that title, there is something odd about the work—the off-kilter phrases featured on the posters are taken from the modernist author gertude stein’s century-old book tender buttons and remixed by fowler to strangely stirring effect. the resulting lines, which include seemingly mundane mission statements such as “words doing as they want to do,” alongside mysterious proclamations like “anyone telling anything is telling that thing,” can’t really be skimmed in the way we’re used to digesting “simple” information. instead they prompt double-takes to make sense of their true meanings.
fowler, a los angeles-based artist, has been incorporating stein’s words into her work since 2010 and she’s known for making use of media more often employed for advertising. which is what she did here: the series was produced by the colby printing company, whose lo-fi, manually-printed posters with neon hues and mixed fonts were ubiquitous in los angeles street advertising until they shut in 2013.
the exhibition,”sites of reason: a selection of recent acquisitions,” (which also features 12 other artists), ends on September 28th.
Filed under: deliberate polish