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Laura Owens, „Untitled“, 2022

Laura Owens

Untitled (2022)

Laura Owens is known for her experimental, often large-scale works that continually push the boundaries of what painting is or can be. For her 2022 TEXTE ZUR KUNST edition, Owens photographed an arrangement of ephemera that returned to her studio after the deinstallation of two ambitious site-specific projects. The screenprinted patterns are remnants from the monumental painting on wallpaper Owens exhibited last year at Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles. The selections featured in this edition include patterns Owens made by digitally manipulating drawings from two early-20th-century design portfolios that she acquired from a rare bookdealer along with scans of googly-eyed “puffy” stickers manufactured in the 1980s. These stickers – which disrupt any sense that Owens’s wallpaper is in some way a historical reconstruction – previously appeared in an untitled 2016 painting. The assemblage also includes an outdated manual on the use of social media for business purposes. The ceramic flowers were handmade in Owens’s Los Angeles studio and shown alongside her large-scale 2019 painting for the ceiling of Sant'Andrea de Scaphis, a deconsecrated church in Rome. Like the project in Arles, this site-specific installation incorporated imagery from disparate historical periods including symbols from Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel and, in a subversion of the patriarchal ideology of Catholicism, pagan depictions of female goddesses. These ceramic flowers represent lilies, a traditional Catholic symbol for the Virgin Mother.