This piece was inspired by the idea that with the right book we can understand almost anything. Books are repositories of knowledge and transmission devices for understanding. The piece was also a technical experiment for me. I used Dura-lar and painted entirely on the reverse side so all of the paint is seen through the slightly frosted, matte surface of the Dura-lar. This piece is flat and will need to be framed.

- Jacob Rowan

The Book that Lays Bare the Foundations

Acrylic painting on mylar

Signed on front

17" h x 14" w 
0 lbs. 0 oz.



Jacob Rowan
Jackson, Mississippi

Getting to Know Jacob

Jacob Rowan typically begins each drawing with words in mind. He will read a poem or story that captures his attention over and over again, contemplating how to respond to it visually. He uses ink and graphite, and occasionally nontraditional materials such as coffee, to create his minimal abstract pieces. The work has the clean feel of a graphic novel, with illustrated spaces that resemble landscapes and architectural structures. There is also a science fiction quality to the drawings, with their desolate and void depictions of space, and geometric combinations of lines and shapes that feel like the face of a circuit board. The compositions have a wonderful sense of balance and motion. Each piece features a circular hinge as the focal point, on which the rest of the drawing rotates. Jacob’s work touches on the five senses–sight, sound, touch, and smell–distilling them down to a simple visual language. For instance, the work smells from the coffee grounds and pungent scent of the Sumi ink. The smell is gone when the pieces are framed, but Jacob says it stays in his memory as he creates the work. The notion of sound and how to represent it visually is also a theme in Jacob’s art, evident in the piece Chorus. Although the drawings are inspired by literature, the work stands alone to create its own narrative, told through its careful compositions, intimate sections of detail, and modern aesthetic.