Laura Owens was born in 1970 in Euclid, Ohio. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1992 from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts in 1994 from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.
Owens incorporates a wide and imaginative range of subjects and techniques in her paintings. Moving with ease between high and low, personal and social, Owens investigates the formal issues of painting through a highly personal blend of abstract and representational imagery. Her work incorporates an eclectic range of visual references. Owens borrows where she pleases from modernist movements past such as Color Field, Op Art, and Pattern and Decoration, from European painters like Henri Rousseau and Toulouse-Lautrec, from anonymous mediums such as textile and embroidery. The artist has said that she approaches her paintings in “a matter-of-fact way in order to take some of the preciousness or exclusiveness out of the history of the practice.” Her unique style moves from figurative to abstraction with energy, whimsical doodles, and sophisticated fine line drawing, creating works that favor pleasure and fantasy for the viewer.
Her paintings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Owens lives and works in Los Angeles, California.