Laura Owens has worked in a dizzying array of styles—from crisp abstraction to moody landscape—delving enthusiastically into genre painting, vernacular pattern, and a kind of japonisme that is all the more potent in an age when decoration is often met with critical suspicion. Untitled shows Owens in full possession of her skills at a moment when her earlier tendencies toward abstraction were beginning to give way to a more figurative and illusionistic sense of space. Simultaneously faux-naïve and stylized, her handling renders the traditional landscape scene with a buzzy organic materiality. The viewer falls easily into the picture’s airy depths, but is constantly reminded that she is viewing an image built stroke by stroke from paint.
Laura Owens (b. 1970, Euclid, Ohio; lives and works in Los Angeles)
Acrylic, oil, and watercolor on canvas
110 x 144 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchased with funds provided by the Scott D. F. Spiegel Endowment Fund