November 10, 2017 – February 4, 2018
The Whitney: 99 Gansevoort Street, New York
On November 10th, The Whitney debuted its mid-career survey of the work of Los Angeles-based painter Laura Owens, known for integrating elements of collage, textiles, and cartoons into her work. Spanning two floors, the exhibition features approximately 60 paintings from the mid-1990s until today. Highlights from the show include a fully-furnished bedroom installation featuring 3-D paintings of bees, a series of functioning painted clocks that border the ceiling, and a “talking” painting that viewers can text message. The second floor of the exhibit features a series of two-sided, standing paintings-cum-sculptures printed with excerpts from a story written by Owens’s middle-school-aged son, as well as his own drawings.
Owens emerged in the Los Angeles art scene during the mid-nineties, 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. 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 use of silkscreen, computer manipulation and digital printing. The Whitney has a longstanding commitment to Owens, who has been featured in two Biennials, and is significantly represented in the Museum’s collection.
Photography by The Untitled Magazine