Meet the Artist
To better understand a childhood spent managing sensorial experiences for my autistic brother, my paintings combine disparate sensorial spaces that are both forcibly disjointed or meaningfully connected. I am driven by the ambiguity of both visual and written language systems and the ways we can learn to communicate. To engage the viewer in slow-looking, I create body-affecting experiences through shifts of color, collage, and visual tempo. I want my paintings to feel like a Haruki Murakami or Italo Calvino novel; an open and scrambled experience of space. I consider these paintings living and breathing entities each with their own individual voice that can be fully heard only through prolonged looking or multiple viewing experiences.
In the studio I invent rules and create aleatoric card games to mimic an engagement with board games or puzzles. The work explores a sort of jazz-like improvisation inside these restrictions. I want the paintings to feel like a jigsaw puzzle built from pieces sourced from multiple boxes. I hunt for moments in the paintings that provide a multiplicity of potential meanings which the viewer must hunt and find. These ‘easter eggs’ provide opportunity for a work to play out completely differently during each viewing session. I want my paintings to feel like they are caught between stillness and motion. If you look away too long the whole image could change, elements might seem to be falling or floating off the canvas or just barely being held up against the surface by a strong wind behind your back.
The recent paintings have been built as tender grids with tessellating blocks of color that seem to buzz at times and sit restfully at others. In the manner of a quilter, I’ve expanded my practice to include sewing in order to collage materials into lyrical and rhythmical shifts. Similar to the negotiation between shapes and colors in the tender grid paintings, the sewn works raise the notion of linking. This process invokes the logic of multiplicity and interconnectivity. Chance-based restrictions allow colors and forms to appear that wouldn’t otherwise. I think often of Josef Albers’ quote describing how color behaves like a human in two possible ways, “…first in self-realization and then in the realization of relationships with others”.
Adam Fulwiler is a painter currently based in Fayetteville, AR. He received his BA in painting from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay in 2017 and is a current MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. He has shown in exhibitions in Arkansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, Ohio, and New York.