Los Angeles–based artist Laura Owens, a pioneer of both figurative and abstract painting, whose work has developed into a hybrid of pop, technology and the avant-garde, is on view now at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. 

When it comes to the ongoing battle about painting’s relevance in the contemporary art world, Laura Owens is a powerful team captain. She unapologetically takes painting into experimental dimensions using humble craft material innovations and continuous collaboration. Her influence is broad, gliding through postmodern and post-analog waves, leaving new doors open in her wake. The first major New York survey of this L.A. artist opens this fall at The Whitney Museum of American Art, a place where Owens seems at home, having been featured prominently in two biennials and the institution’s collection. The exhibition will cover her cheeky, bold works from the ’90s until now, tracking the mesmerizing and prolific shifts in her practice over the years. Unafraid to incorporate humor and joy, and take significant left turns, changing styles as she pleases, creating new, unrecognizable work without hesitation, Owens is an inspiration. It cannot be ignored that staying true to yourself and your own taste when embedded in the museum world and high-end art market is a significant challenge, and she’s crushed it accordingly. From painting on the back of canvas frames to honoring nostalgia and anonymous artists, Owens is a pioneer, and this exhibition is sure to be a lesson in the benefits of choosing your own adventure. —Kristin Farr

Laura Owens exhibition at the Whitney will be on view through Feburary 4, 2018. 

This text will be published in a future issue of Juxtapoz Magazine