Born in 1990 in Kent, England, Josh Rowell 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.
Rowell generates his artistic vision by focusing on technological advances that shape our contemporary lives, communicating our increasingly mediated human interactions within the confines of visual art. The artist balances analogue techniques with the instantaneous nature of the digital age. This juxtaposition produces a language that explores and reshapes information, and celebrates the hand-made in a time that is increasingly being enveloped by the virtual.
Since his emergence as an abstract painter, Rowell has expanded to sculpture, mixed media, and often times works with light, video, and sound installations. Despite these disparate media, everything is underpinned by a coding system, “everything can be reduced to a molecular binarism where all systems can be simplified to yes/no decisions,” the artist explains.
Mirroring the proliferation associated with the technological advancements these codes can generate, Rowell paints a vernacular, as evident by his “Painting Language” series, far more complex and carrying greater levels of information than a traditional one-zero binary. The language of colour, pattern, and form, is seen as dots laboriously covering canvases. These sequences, which the artist developed himself, read as a codified statement to create new forms of visual text that explore the possibilities and boundaries of expression and information.
The artists 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 exciting emerging artists of the year. In 2019 he was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London. In 2020 he was named joint winner of the Dentons Art Prize and was invited to participate in ‘False Memory’, a group exhibition at Rugby At Museum curated by Lindsay Seers.
Rowell has works in private collections as well, in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Monte Carlo, Australia, Ireland, Russia, Kuwait, Bermuda, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, and Peru.