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Untitled, 2003 (detail). In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Hand embroidery and silk screen print on tussah silk. 69 1⁄2 x 50 inches. Edition 1 of 7 variants. Photo: Aaron Igler. Laura Owens, Untitled, 2003. In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Hand embroidery and silk screen print on tussah silk. 69 1⁄2 x 50 inches. Edition 1 of 7 variants. Photo: Aaron Igler. Laura Owens, Installation view.
Untitled, 2003 (detail). In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Hand embroidery and silk screen print on tussah silk. 69 1x 50 inches. Edition 1 of 7 variants. Photo: Aaron Igler.
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Laura Owens, Untitled, 2003. In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Hand embroidery and silk screen print on tussah silk. 69 1x 50 inches. Edition 1 of 7 variants. Photo: Aaron Igler.
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Laura Owens, Installation view.
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Laura Owens:

Solo Exhibition

September 8, 2004–November 6,2004

Opening Reception:

Gallery Talk by the Artist
21 September 2004, 6:00 p.m.

Lecture by Paul Schimmel
5 November 2004, 6:00 p.m.



Laura Owens showcases the artist's recent collaboration with FWM, a suite of hand-embroidered, hand-silkscreened prints. Working with FWM Project Coordinators Olivia Schreiner and Candy Depew, and with embroiderers Courtney Hager, Candace Lathrop and Lauren Durgin, Owens created seven identical large-scale prints on Indian tussah silk, with cotton floss embroidery. When the initial printing and embroidery was completed, Owens made additions to each individual piece, creating seven variants. Considered as a whole, the seven variants depict a tree, and through it, the passage of time—leaves fall, flowers bloom and wilt, worms crawl, spiders spin webs and clouds pass. 

In each piece, Owens displays her graceful sense of composition and design. Owens’ new work includes hints of Asian landscape painting and printmaking, renaissance tapestries, and early American decorativetextiles, as well as nods to painters such as Henri Rousseau and Edward Hicks. Owens’ strong sense of individuality leaves her unfettered by these various traditions and sources; she is able to synthesize this range of information into her own unique painterly language.

Paul Schimmel, Chief Curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and Curator of Owens’ exhibition there, has praised the open-minded nature of Owens’ practice. Schimmel has said “[Owens] has an uncanny ability to combine a highly personal iconography with a profound understanding of the history of art. She approaches painting collaboratively and conceptually.” Owens has a strong commitment to the medium of painting, and, for her, painting is an intuitive process. She has said of successful work, "you can't really plan to make it happen. You can just set up the circumstances that make it happen."

This FWM residency has taken full advantage of Owens’ openness to collaborations. Working with FWM Project Coordinators, Owens was able to handle the technical challenges of silkscreen printing and embroidery with the same level of confidence and sensitivity to medium she has shown in her painting. Citing Owens embrace of intuition and intellect, and her careful attention to both technique and content, Schimmel calls her “one of the most important painters to emerge from Los Angeles in the past decade.”



Bio

Born in 1970 in Euclid, Ohio, Owens is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and the California Institute of Arts, Valencia. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Since her first solo show in 1995, Owens's work has been included in the most important surveys of new painting, including Examining Pictures (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1999), and Painting at the End of the World (Walker Art Center, 2001), as well as the 1999-2000 Carnegie International and Drawing Now: Eight Propositions (The Museum of Modern Art, 2002-03). She was also included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2004). Her works are in the collections of LAMOCA, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.