Offset print on Profisilk paper, 170 g/m²
61 x 46 cm
Edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered by the artist
about this work
Laura Owens is known for her experimental, often large-scale works that continually push the boundaries of what painting is or can be. For this edition, Owens photographed an arrangement of ephemera that returned to her studio after the deinstallation of two ambitious site-specific projects. The screen-printed patterns are remnants from the monumental painting on wallpaper Owens exhibited last year at Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles. The selections featured in this edition include patterns Owens made by digitally manipulating drawings from two early-20th-century design portfolios that she acquired from a rare bookdealer along with scans of googly-eyed “puffy” stickers manufactured in the 1980s. These stickers – which disrupt any sense that Owens’s wallpaper is in some way a historical reconstruction – previously appeared in an untitled 2016 painting. The assemblage also includes an outdated manual on the use of social media for business purposes. The ceramic flowers were handmade in Owens’s Los Angeles studio and shown alongside her large-scale 2019 painting for the ceiling of Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, a deconsecrated church in Rome. Like the project in Arles, this site-specific installation incorporated imagery from disparate historical periods including symbols from Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel and, in a subversion of the patriarchal ideology of Catholicism, pagan depictions of female goddesses. These ceramic flowers represent lilies, a traditional Catholic symbol for the Virgin Mother.
about Laura Owens
Commingling a variety of art-historical techniques and tropes, Laura Owens’ work questions expected modes of composition and representation, and her paintings typically comprise several complex, additive layers in a more-than-meets-the-eye pastiche.
Drawing on Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, craft embroidery, and modernist masters, among other sources, Owens’s early work often features fantastical animals in highly illustrated settings. These canvases, often blending abstraction, figuration, and decoration, are reminiscent of the work of Henri Rousseau and brim with possibility in their dreamlike experimentation. Owens meditates on the ambiguity of representation and frequently depicts the gallery space itself in an almost uncanny state. This investigation into how her art is ultimately viewed and consumed remains an important proposition in her work.
Since the late 2000s, Owens has largely left behind figurative elements in favor of a bold, buoyant, abstract gestural mark, often layered on newspaper clippings, posters, or grids. Built through Photoshop, then painted by hand to emulate a digital aesthetic, these multilayered compositions create a puzzling, intricate trompe l’oeil, wherein different techniques become indistinguishable. The creative reimagining of the traditional brushstroke in a digital age is a hallmark of Owens’s work, which attests to the persistent power of the painted surface.
(courtesy of Guggenheim, New York)
Laura Owens had solo exhibitions at a.o. CCA Wattis, San Francisco; Secession, Vienna; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Kunsthalle, Zurich; and Camden Arts Centre, London; MoCA, Los Angeles; and Aspen Art Museum, Aspen. Group exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon; Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Tate Modern, London; MoMA, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle; Rubell Collection, Miami; Francois Pinault Collection, Venice; MCA, Chicago; and MoCA, Los Angeles.
Laura Owens is represented by the following galleries;
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You can also discover more of Laura Owens’ work on her own website.more...