During my fine art project I researched some artists and discovered Laura Owens. Owens makes exhibitions made up of a number of paintings which are large scale and uses a range of paints including flashe, acrylic and oil as well as other mediums including charcoal on canvas/linen. The big scale of her paintings allows the viewer to fully study each individual detail, making the viewer have to physically move to engage with the work. Therefore Owens motivates the viewer as a lot of time has to be taken to fully appreciate every detail.
Her exhibition ’12 paintings’, is made up of paintings that are all a similar size and style to surround and fully engage the viewer. This idea is furthered as every painting is named ‘untitled 2013’ suggesting that she wants these paintings to be seen as one to create a fantasy experience when walking into her studio. Owens says herself ‘I am not interested in making passive pictures that fall back into the wall like a window… I am more Interested in activating the space, the room, with you walking between the paintings.’ Therefore each painting is just one element of the whole experience Owens is creating in the exhibition, almost like an installation where she is bringing the viewer into her fantasy world she has created.
My favourite work in her 12 piece exhibition is ‘untitled, 2013’ which she painted using flashe, acrylic and oil paint on linen. In this she depicts a busy cityscape with buildings, water, a train, cars, a bike and people. I like this work as she shows lots of objects all jumbled together, which means that the work does not necessarily make sense, therefore creating a sense of abstraction and that this scene is a fantasy place. This then confuses the viewer, meaning that they will engage with it further and spend more time trying to understand it. What I liked about this painting was that the more I studied it, the more features I realised were actually there. The painting is 135.5 by 120″ and is therefore very large. I think that this would give optimum impact if seen in the exhibition as you would be able to see every detail. I like the mismatched composition of the painting as it seems to show her trace of thoughts as she has changed her idea of what to paint. I am interested by her thick impasto marks on top of the painting as they look as if they are spontaneously placed to create a dynamic feel.
From looking at her work, I feel as if I could experiment more and change my work if it is becoming too similar to something I have done before. Therefore I would create work that is less realistic and confusing so that the viewer has to figure it out.
Interesting articles about Laura Owens and her work that I used are below: