Josh Rowell

 
 

Josh Rowell (UK, 1990) graduated from Kingston Art School in 2013, where he received a first class BFA with honours. Following a course in Art Criticism at Central Saint Martins college, Rowell returned to Kingston Art School for an MFA in 2015, where he was awarded a first- class distinction. His works have been exhibited in London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Basel, Hong Kong and Mexico and his works are part of public collections including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Gregorian Foundation in Washington, London Kingston University's contemporary art collection, and the Matilda collection in San Miguel De Allende. In 2017/18 he had his first museum exhibition at the Palacio Nacional de Guatemala. Rowell won the Public Choice award at the VIA Arts Prize 2017, and was included in Future Now, the yearly publication by Aesthetica listing the 100 most interesting emerging artists of the year. In 2019 he was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London.

 

The Painting Language series of was born out of a long term interest in the functions of language and information, especially in light of a digital age. These paintings are coding systems for language, each one contains in them a body of text that can be taken from any source (book, magazine, script) and from any language. The artist then processes the information through a coding system of his own design. The system operates through colour, sequence and pattern, and ultimately the language becomes transformed into the paintings. In each work there is the potential for it to be read, as it was in its original state, and, as it is in its altered state. Through making these works, Rowell wanted to explore what it means to reshape information, and think about alternative ways of seeing, or ‘reading’ the world around us. With language, spoken and written, as our primary means of communicating, it seemed a natural starting point for him to work with.

A second series, titled ‘Virtually Fragile’, comments on the potential total loss of information and the resulting shift back into apparent chaos that can be experienced once we become disconnected from the internet. In contrast to the abstract images of the Painting Language series, these works are painted entirely from reality. Working directly from found images of broken smartphone screens, Rowell seeks to highlight the fact that the digital world, despite its seemingly limitless potential, is not yet immortal. Like all things, our personal relationship with the virtual realm is temporal; as we enter into the digital world through our screens, the gateway through which we travel can just as soon be taken away from us with one false move, one simple drop of our cell phone. We can understand here that the digital world is still, ultimately answerable to the physical world.

 

Selected Exhibitions

 

2019

WOP Art, Atipografia, Lugano, Switzerland (Upcoming)

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, UK

Pareidolia, Group Exhibition, Daniel Benjamin Gallery x Space Station, London UK

Art Central Hong Kong - Unix Gallery, Hong Kong

2018
Analytics and Aesthetics - Solo Exhibition, Moyshen Gallery, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

All About My Selfie - Two Person Show with Rachel Libeskind, Brixton, London, UK
Seattle Art Fair - Solo Booth, Unix Gallery, Seattle, USA

Art Miami - Unix Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA 
Volta Basel - Unix Gallery, Basel, Switzerland 

2017
Origins - Solo Exhibition, Moyshen Gallery, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
New Territory - Two Person Show, Unix Gallery, New York, USA
Asi Se Siente Mexico - Group Exhibition, Palacio Nacional de Guatemala, Guatemala
VIA Arts Prize - Group Exhibition, Brazilian Embassy, London, UK
Future Anesthetics - Group Exhibition, Unix Gallery, New York, USA
Artefax - Group Exhibition, Shoreditch Platform, London, UK 

2016
Aesthetica16 - Aesthetica Art Prize, York St Mary's, York, UK 
Summer Show - Moyshen Gallery, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Group Exhibition, Unix Gallery, New York, USA
Art Miami - Unix Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
Art Southampton - Unix Gallery, New York, USA

2015

Show Business - Group Exhibition, Stanley Picker Gallery, London. Curated by Isobel Harbison
Bittersweet Christmas - Group Exhibition, Trispace Gallery, Bermondsey, London

2014
Escorts - MFA Show 2014, Group collaboration project, Centre for Useless Splendour, Kingston-upon-thames, London
Render Useless - Two person exhibition, Stanley Picker Gallery, London
Metamorphosis - Group Exhibition, Knights Park, Kingston-upon-thames, London

2013
Flat White Wall Machine – Collaborative Publication, X-Marks the Bokship, Matt’s Gallery, London
KU13 - Degree Show Exhibition, Kingston University, London

2012
Swanage – Group Exhibition at the Centre for useless Splendour, Kingston-upon-thames, London
SEED – Group Exhibition, 02 Centre, Finchley Road, London.
Everything Is Amazing – Group Exhibition, Meanwhile Space Gallery, Whitechapel, London

Public Collections


Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Contemporary Art Collection, Kingston University, London, UK
Gregorian Foundation, Washington DC, USA

Min Art Museum, Guadalajara, Mexico

Hotel Matilda Contemporary Art Collection, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Prizes and Residencies


VIA Arts Prize 2017 - Public Choice Award Winner, London, UK
Moyshen Gallery Residency - Summer 2017, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Aesthetica Arts Prize 2016 - Finalist, York, UK

Publications


Future Now - 100 selected contemporary international artists from 2016, published by Aesthetica

Education


MFA Fine Art: Kingston University, 1st Class 
Art Criticism: Central Saint Martins, Short Course
Ba Hons Degree Fine Art: Kingston University, 1st Class