For more than twenty years, Los Angeles–based artist Laura Owens has pioneered an innovative approach to painting that has made her one of the most influential artists of her generation. Her bold and experimental work challenges traditional assumptions about figuration and abstraction, as well as the relationships among avant-garde art, craft, pop culture, and technology.
This mid-career survey, the most comprehensive of Owens’s work to-date, will feature approximately 60 paintings from the mid-1990s until today. The exhibition will highlight her significant strides over the past few years, showing how the early work sets the stage for gripping new paintings and installations.
Owens emerged on the Los Angeles art scene during the mid-nineties, at a time when many in the critical establishment viewed painting with suspicion. Her early canvases upended the traditions of painterly abstraction by incorporating goofy personal allusions, doodling, and common craft materials. These works often demonstrated her keen interest in how paintings function in a given room and used illusionistic techniques to extend the plane of a wall or floor directly into the space of her pictures. More recently, she has charted a dramatic transformation in her work, marshaling all of her previous interests and talents within large-scale paintings that make virtuosic use of silkscreen, computer manipulation, digital printing, and material exploration.
This exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Los Angeles presentation is coordinated by Bennett Simpson, Senior Curator, with Rebecca Matalon, Curatorial Associate, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Generous support is provided by Visionary Women.
Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with lead annual support provided by Sydney Holland, founder of the Sydney D. Holland Foundation. Generous funding is also provided by Judith and Alexander Angerman, Delta Air Lines, and Nathalie Marciano and Julie Miyoshi.