MEASURING ELVIS + RUINED FINERY
Cob Gallery present a double book release by British Artist Nina Mae Fowler – Measuring Elvis + Ruined Finery. The publications are presented together in a velum slipcase.
The combined release offers collectors a survey of the artist’s career from 2008-2020, across two publications. Measuring Elvis, a hardback, linen bound monograph- represents Fowler’s work from 2008-2015. Ruined Finery is a limited-edition zine, that catalogues the artist’s work from 2015-2020.
Both publications feature contributions from an international roster of curators, artists and writers who share the artist’s fascination with the themes that underpin Fowler’s work: glamour, stardom and its often murky underside, where fame and ruin poise on a knife’s edge.
Presented in ‘zine’ format, Ruined Finery subverts Fowler’s artwork titles, texts and images to mimic the headline rhetoric and layout found in tabloid design. This compounds Fowler’s mastery at correlating her bygone era subject matter with strikingly similar contemporary narratives, surrounding abuses of power across industries and our insatiable, cannibalistic consumption of celebrity. The zine includes rare works in full colour and other new advances in Fowler’s practice as she continues to push the boundaries of traditions in drawing.
Featured is Fowler’s 2019 commission for the National Portrait Gallery London, the Luminary Drawings – a suite of nine drawn portraits depicting contemporary British Film Directors – accompanied by an exclusive text from cultural historian and novelist Dame Marina Warner.
Further contributions are included from New York based curator writer and self- titled ‘Historian of Bad Behaviour’ Alissa Bennett as well as texts from journalist, writer and columnist Eva Wiseman, and writer Austin Mutti-Mewse, author of film-star obituaries. A series of specially commissioned poems are included from Bertie Marshall. An essay titled ’Hollywood Sin’ features as a stand-alone insert within the zine, by poet and journalist Olivia Cole.
Combined, Measuring Elvis x Ruined Finery features further essays and texts from notable figures including but not limited to; Film Director John Maybury, Playwright Polly Stenham, Actress Sienna Miller, BP Portrait award winner Craig Wylie, Counterculture historian Barry Miles, and former director the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne. Further contributions are included from Film Directors Sally Potter, Nick Park, Ken Loach, Paul Greengrass, Amma Asante, Sam Mendes, and Sir Ridley Scott. Since 2015, Fowler’s work is now included in the private collections of Sir Ridley Scott and Rouland Mouret and the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.