Born in Invercargill, New Zealand, J. Pouwels received an MFA in painting and drawing from Miami University, Oxford, OH, in 2004. He is currently assistant professor of foundations and drawing at CSU, Chico.
Pouwels’ resume is extensive and international. Since 2002 he has shown in the United States many dozens of times including solo and group exhibitions in California, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, Montana, and Washington, D.C. He has shown multiple times in New Zealand, Japan, and Italy. He has had residencies in Italy, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, and his work from 1996 through the present is part of more than twenty collections in California, Ohio, Amsterdam, and New Zealand. He has been commissioned for artwork many times and been the recipient of awards and scholarships here and abroad. Pouwels writes about the show at 1078 Gallery:
Current drawings and paintings explore how a small amount of corrupted information can undermine the fluid impression of an event, discussion, image, or similar phenomenon. Represented at the gallery are two concurrent series sharing imagery and vulnerabilities, and following a similar thread that examines the concept of “insufficient data.”
Interference is a series of paintings about signal degradation. What happens when a simple message suffers a loss of information that compromises the entire message? And what if the message is not simple? This can take place between two people, where only they are affected, or perhaps between nations rattling sabers. The imagery I use for this body of work comes exclusively from a call for images through social networking. I consider this body of work an experimental collaboration with social practices. The use of the “pixel” makes reference only in part to the digital aspect of the internet. More specifically it has an interesting visual effect acting as an obstruction, altering the potential of a shared narrative, building a whole from two disparate halves that ultimately work in conjunction with each other out of necessity.
Dysfunctional Systems (drawings in the back of the gallery) are the most autobiographical of the current bodies of work. They propose structures built from files that are corrupted. Each offers something that does not fulfill its promise: a deformity of expectation. That the water towers do not leak, despite their dysfunction, suggests purpose beyond abnormality.