Laura Owens, installation view, Secession 2015, Photo: Jorit Aust

Laura Owens

July 2 – August 30, 2015

Laura Owens belongs to a generation of artists who are reshaping the discourse of contemporary painting with their technical expertise and love of experimentation and, perhaps most importantly, through the involvement of digital media and image editing technologies. The Los Angeles-based artist’s paintings first attracted attention in the late 1990s; she quickly rose to wide acclaim and, in 2003, became the youngest artist ever to be honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Owens is known for her large formats and a specific visual idiom inspired by references to art history, borrowings from popular and vernacular culture, and the visual traditions of non-Western cultures. On the formal level, her work has always been distinguished by combinations and superimpositions of different techniques, media, and motifs. She prints, paints, and sprays on her canvases, embroiders them and pastes elements and, in some instances, entire objects onto them. Owens also uses digital technology; art and image editing applications are no less part of her repertoire than more traditional tools. Her approach to painting entails a permanently evolving visual language; extensive preparations, studies, and technical experiments are characteristic of her creative process. By the time the work on the canvas proper begins, the essential parameters of the painting have already been determined. Owens’s pictorial spaces are complex compositional constructions defined by a layering of planes that alternate between formal and thematic references.


Laura Owens, born in Euclid, Ohio (USA) in 1970, lives and works in Los Angeles.