|Laura Owens’s paintings are often grandly scaled and remarkably varied in the application of paint to canvas. The four works on view here include passages of expressive abstraction, washes of pale color that stain unprimed canvas, and thick ribbons of pigment resting on the paintings’ surfaces. Although Owens’s paintings are inspired by any number of visual sources, she acknowledges film, computer, and television imagery among her influences—all media that create illusion through precisely defined shapes on flat surfaces. The relationship of paintings to their physical environment and how they are experienced by viewers are important considerations for Owens. According to the artist’s directions, her two-panel numbers painting, Untitled (1999), is installed on opposite walls, engaging the three-dimensional space of the gallery. In this way, the viewer, standing between the mirror-image canvases, occupies the virtual space of the work of art.||
Laura Owens’s paintings have been exhibited in group exhibitions in museums in the United States and Europe, including L.A.C.E. Annuale, Los Angeles Contemporary Art Exhibitions (1994); Wunderbar, Kunstverein, Hamburg (1996); Hot Coffee, Artists Space, New York (1997); Young Americans 2: New American Art, Saatchi Gallery, London (1998); and Nach-Bild, Kunsthalle Basel and Examining Pictures, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1999). Since 1995, she has had solo shows in galleries in the United States, Germany, England, and Italy, including Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (1996, 1998) and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (1999).
1994 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine
1994 California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland. Nach-Bild (1999). Exhibition catalogue, text by Frances Stark.
Owens, Laura, and Susan Morgan. “A Thousand Words: Laura Owens Talks About Her New Work.” Artforum 37, no. 10 (summer 1999): 130-31.
Avgikos, Jan. “Laura Owens.” Artforum 37, no. 5 (January 1999): 118.
Darling, Michael. “Laura Owens.” Art Issues, no. 56 (January-February 1999): 43.