Laurence Owen’s work, which includes a combination of painting, sculpture and ceramics is a symptomatic expression of a culture where everything and nothing is being absorbed on a daily basis. The emergent visual language is a result of the artist’s experience of being subjugated to receiving the amalgam of biochemical and synthetic data all at once, until the differentiation between the two gets confused. Each realm consistently flits, generating or eroding contributions to notions of a "total truth" and seeks to question our own intuitive understanding of "the real". The work assumes "war/ding" or "world-building", where the blending of the material and the semiotic removes boundaries between subject and environment, persona or topos. It provokes collapse between usually distant fields like biography and technology, fact and fiction, private and public in a continuous flux of exchange.
With the works often hybridisations of both material and aesthetic, they seem to be arranged with an ergonomic purpose and functionality but are in fact slippery and subversive. With this, they journey from a seemingly practical domain and into metaphysical investigations. Owen questions how meaning can be brought to or embedded into materiality, and how Art as a relational object can stimulate value and belief, hinting at notions of ‘systems’ operating behind our daily existence. Throughout his work, a collapse between past and present occurs; futurist scenarios appear to simulate and flow into established aesthetics as an equally speculative – science fictional – realm.
Owen (b. 1984) graduated in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools (2015) and lives and works in London. He has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include Gerund, Exhibition across two galleries: Lychee One and Zabludowicz Collection Invites, London, UK (2020); 2019: Loot, Galerie PCP. Paris, FR, (2019); Channel Synthesis, Evelyn Yard Gallery. London, UK (2016). Group exhibitions include The John Moores Painting Prize, The Walker Museum, Liverpool, UK (2021); Assembly Points: Bridget Mullen, Laurence Owen, Vanessa da Silva, Public Gallery, London, UK, (2020);Mushrooms: The art, design and future of funghi, Somerset House. London, UK (2020); Drawing Biennial The Drawing Rooms. London, UK (2019); Maly Sabata Art O Rama, Marseille. France, FR (2018); Something Else, Triumph Gallery. Moscow, RU (2018); 28th December 1980, Asylum Studios and Gallery. Suffolk, UK, (2018); Terra: A Contemporary History of Clay, Hotel Contemporary, Lamb Arts. London, UK (2018); Form, Cob Gallery. London, UK, (2018); Lost and Found, Rod Barton. London, UK, (2017); Imagination and its Contents, Frestonian Gallery. London, UK (2017); Absent Bodies curated by Francesca Gavin, OSL Contemporary. Oslo, NOR, (2017); The Talking Lamp curated by Laurence Owen, The Kennington Residency. London, UK (2016); John Moores Painting Prize, The Walker Museum. Liverpool, UK (2016); Looking at People Looking at Art, Division Of Labor. London, UK (2016); Studio_eigh, Studio_Leigh. London, UK (2015); Chimp Cracks Nut With Rock, curated by Sean Steadman, Kennington Residency. London, UK (2015); Laurence Owen & Vivien Zhang, Rook And Raven. London, UK (2014); Premiums, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2014); In The Darkest Hour There May Be Light, Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Serpentine Gallery, London, (2007).
Owen has been shortlisted for the John Moore’s painting prize both in 2016 and 2021. Collaborations have included Hermes 5519 Womenswear Collection Button Designs, Paris. FR.