Laura Owens

Bill & Stephanie Sick Distinguished Visiting Professor
Tuesday, September 12, 11:00 p.m.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium
230 S. Columbus Dr.

United States

Los Angeles-based artist Laura Owens is internationally renowned for her innovative approaches to painting. For more than 20 years, she has pioneered experimental work that challenges traditional assumptions about figuration and abstraction. Owens’ heterogeneous methods enable her to tackle each painting as a new opportunity. She utilizes and combines techniques such as silk screening, intuitive painterly gestures, bright color fields, photorealism, and the integration of appropriated imagery into any given project. Critic and curator Linda Norden has written, “Owens’ paintings do not resolve on further contemplation: At no point does an animating or edifying story or explanation threaten to squelch the oddity of the picture painted, nor do the elements comprising a given painting gain independent meaning.” As part of her visiting professorship, Owens will co-teach a course in SAIC’s Painting and Drawing department in the spring of 2018 with Associate Professors Scott and Tyson Reeder.

Owens’ forthcoming survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, will open in November. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2016); Secession, Vienna (2015); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2011); Kunsthalle Zürich (2006); Camden Arts Centre, London (2006); Milwaukee Art Museum (2003); Aspen Art Museum, (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2003); and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2001), among other venues. Owens’ art has also been featured in group exhibitions such as The Forever Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); The Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011); The Undiscovered Country, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004); Whitney Biennial (2004); Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001); Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (1999); and Vertical Painting Show, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (1997). She is the cofounder with Wendy Yao and Gavin Brown of 356 Mission, a contemporary art exhibition space in downtown Los Angeles.

Established in 2006 by a generous gift from Bill and Stephanie Sick, this distinguished visiting professorship enables internationally renowned artists and designers to visit and teach at SAIC.