Known for her sumptuously detailed large-scale drawings and installations, Nina Mae Fowler’s work interrogates themes of celebrity, beauty, power and sexuality. Preoccupied with Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’, Fowler treats the period as a crucible of our own, revelling in its sheer visual richness at the same time as it critiques our culture’s obsession with stardom, as well as the ubiquitous presence of the photographic lens in the reception of imagery. Her arrestingly beautiful selection of works revel in the era’s sheer visual richness and takes a cool-headed look at its sometimes lurid inner workings. Steeped in both the glamour and grotesquery of stardom, her work brings a mortician’s scalpel to the immaculately made-up corpse of celebrity culture both historical and contemporary. Since her nomination for the BP Portrait Prize in 2008, Fowler’s work has won widespread acclaim. In 2019, Fowler was awarded a major commission for The National Portrait Gallery. Entitled ‘Luminary Drawings’, the series comprises nine portraits of leading British Film Directors which now form part of the museums permanent collection, including Sam Mendes, Ken Loach, Nick Park and Sally Potter.
Nina Mae Fowler graduated in Fine Art Sculpture from Brighton University in 2003. Selected solo exhibitions include Nina Mae Fowler, Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris, France (2023); Luminary Drawings, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2019); If You Don’t Want My Peaches (You Better Stop Shaking The Tree), Cob Gallery, London, UK (2019); Who Wants To See A Dame Go Blind, Artnow Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2018); Death Takes A Holiday, Silencio, Paris, France (2018); While I’m Still Warm, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2017); The Lure of Collapse, Galerie Dukan, Leipzig, Germany (2014); That’s Right Mister…And How Is Your FairyTale Coming Along?, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2013) It’s Just My Funny Way of Dancing: Parts I-XIII, Lazarides, London, UK (2011); A Real Allegory: Parts I & II, Dukan Hourdequin, Paris, France (2011); Valentino’s Funeral, Dukan Hourdequin, Lyon, France (2009); Selected group exhibitions include De Anima, Nina Mae Fowler x Casper Sejersen, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2020); NEW WORK PART III: SUBJECT, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2018); White on White, Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Springs, USA (2016); Starke Frauen, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany (2013); Artists of the Colony Room (1948- 2008), England & Co, London, UK (2014); Face Value, Contémporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong (2012).
Fowler’s works are held in notable private and public collections including; The National Portrait Gallery (UK), Balliol, Magdalen and New Colleges Oxford (UK), Colección Al Limite (Chile), Imago Mundi, Luciano Bennetton Collection (Treviso, Italy) and the ‘Try-me’ Collection, (Virginia, USA). In 2018, film director David Lynch’s establishment Silencio in Paris held a retrospective of Fowler’s work. In 2019, Fowler featured on BBC Radio 4 as part of 'Only Artists’ and in conversation with Oscar winning British film director Nick Park. Further publications include the artist's monograph Measuring Elvis (Cob Gallery, 2015) which features contributions from playwright Polly Stenham and the former director of the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne, and Ruined Finery (Cob Gallery 2020) featuring essays from Alissa Bennet and Dame Marina Warner. Fowler has been shortlisted for numerous prizes and awards, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2015 & 2010), The Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary Award (2016), Aesthetica Art Prize (2014), Drawing Now Award (2014), Young Masters Prize (2012) and the BP Portrait Award (2008).