LAURA OWENS | UNTITLED
The History of Now: The Collection of David Teiger Sold to Benefit Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art
signed, titled and dated 2003 on the reverse
watercolor and graphite on paper
Sheet: 12¼ by 9 in. (31.1 by 22.9 cm.)
Framed: 19⅛ by 15¾ in. (48.6 by by 40 cm.)
This work is in excellent condition overall. There is a slight undulation to the sheet and loose fibers along the edges due to the artist's chosen materials. Framed under glass.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Cleveland, Museum of Contemporary Art, Drawn to Cleveland, September - December 2005, p. 19, illustrated
Los Angeles-based artist Laura Owens became well known during the late 1990s for her strikingly individualistic paintings in which references to modes of seeing and making, television and popular culture, the autobiographical and the art historical, collide in kitsch pastel shades and candy colors. Having graduated from CalArts in 1994, Owens swiftly achieved gallery representation and critical recognition; in 1996 significant examples of her work were added to three of the most prestigious museum collections in New York – the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art – and in 2003, at the age of only 33, she was granted a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Indeed, Owens is the youngest artist to have been awarded a survey show in the institution’s history.
The present work firmly belongs within Owens’ practice of the mid-2000s: that of fairy-tale subjects rendered in a whimsical, dreamlike nature. Owens’ employment of watercolor heightens the effect. A girl on a boat is accompanied by a dog on a raft as they encounter a mystical land in the distance, with birds fluttering overhead. In November 2017, a major retrospective of Owens’ career opened to great acclaim at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and today her status as one of the most important artistic voices of the twenty-first century is truly set in stone.