Since the early 1990s, Laura Owens (b. 1970) has challenged traditional assumptions about figuration and abstraction in her pioneering approach to painting. Created in close collaboration with the artist on the occasion of her mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, this inventive and expansive book features an incisive introduction by Scott Rothkopf, critical essays, literary texts, and short commentaries on a variety of subjects related to Owens's broad interests, which range from folk art and needlework to comics and wallpaper. Reflections by more than twenty of Owens's fellow artists, collaborators, assistants, dealers, family members, and friends offer an array of perspectives on her work at different periods in her life, beginning with her high school years in Ohio and ending with her current exhibition. A rich trove of more than a thousand images, drawn from the artist's personal archive and largely unpublished before now, includes personal correspondence, journals, academic transcripts, handwritten notes, source material, exhibition announcements, clippings, and installation photographs. Together, these elements offer a rare and intimate look at how an artist might make her way in the world as well as how art gets made, movements take hold, and relationships evolve over time.
Each cover of this edition is unique and hand screen printed in Laura Owens' studio.