Laura Owens stands out amongst the most recent group of emerging artists in Los Angeles with her capacity to make elegant paintings that demonstrate how powerful imagery need not always lead to a conclusion. Her works are loaded with meanderings and ambiguities--large blank patches, tentative marks, muted, sun-washed colors and a deliberate uncertainly between a decorative, painterly gesture and true imagery. They often reference interior spaces, not in the courtly tradition, but primarily because these are the spaces in which painting, inherently an indoor sport, has existed.
As in Untitled, 1995 Owens often depicts the walls, and floors around a painting, as if to blur the line between where the painting begins and ends, and where the painted wall of a room might interface. Her paintings are very much concerned with space, environment and "situation." As someone who riffs off the long and theory-laden history of abstract painting, Owens manages to have it both ways: her paintings are lovely, decorative and concerned with presence and materiality, while simultaneously engaged with the realities and possibilities of painting's progress.
Untitled,1995 activates the space between the viewer and the canvas, the small moment where the viewer and the experience of viewing meet. Mirroring the accidental cropping of a wall and a painting that one might visually frame while viewing, Untitled is a picture, an idea and an experience all in one.