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25 Mar 2019

Laura Owens

Museum of Contemporary Art

Reviewed by Jeff Hansen

Laura Owens has made a twofold contribution to art making: her commitment to the expansion of painting's boundaries beyond stretcher and canvas, and her transparency in her role as an artist.

The exhibition catalogue for her mid-career survey at MoCA Los Angeles is a looking glass into the life of a struggling artist, revealing triumphs and failures. She openly displays scenes of motherhood, rejection letters, and gossipy correspondences with galleries. It's one for future generations to unpack.

Her works contain Easter eggs in the cinematic sense, such as paintings that provide aural responses to text messages (I had a conversation with one) and her signature trompe l'oeil drop shadows. But they're like an iPhone, cold, sleek, and activated by a false sense of touch.

Instead of warmth we get architectural gameplay. Paintings that function as literal clocks, paintings expanding without edge, and paintings that contain paintings. The expansion of painting, along with a depicted pack of cigarettes and a tiny Guernica, are jewels that keep pushing me back into my own studio.

Exhibition Laura Owens link
Start date 11 Nov 2018
End date 25 Mar 2019
Presenter Museum of Contemporary Art link
Venue 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA map
Image Installation view of Laura Owens at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, courtesy of the artist, photo by Annik Wetter

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