Laura Owens & Vincent van Gogh, an exhibition combining seven van Gogh paintings with new works by acclaimed painter Laura Owens (Art MFA 94), runs through Sunday, Oct. 31 at Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles in Arles, France.
The exhibition, co-curated by Fondation Artistic Director Bice Curiger and British art historian, critic, and curator Mark Godfrey, showcases Owens’ exploration of van Gogh’s images, methods, and colors. The show also serves as the artist’s response to spending the COVID-19 lockdown in Arles, in and around which the seven van Gogh works in the exhibition were created. The city was also the site of a cholera pandemic in the latter half of the 19th century, a fact reflected in the artist’s research. Additionally, Arles was where van Gogh dreamed of establishing a community of artists, reflecting Owens’ own pursuit to create artist exhibition spaces throughout the course of her career.
Laura Owens & Vincent van Gogh features her latest paintings, films, and wallpaper designs wrapping around the exhibition space. Also accompanying the exhibition are “intricate sculptural” publications inspired by and responding to van Gogh’s letters and works, including books “about each of the paintings borrowed for the exhibition,” each of which are displayed on specially made tables. Among the seven original van Gogh paintings in the exhibition are Hospital at Saint-Rémy (1889), on loan from the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and The Fields (1890), created shortly before his death.
Born in Euclid, Ohio, and based in Los Angeles, Owens is regarded as one of today’s “most celebrated American artists.” She is known for her experimental and cross-disciplinary approach to painting, as well as her prolific production of more than 200 editioned artist’s books. In 2017, her first major monographic survey Laura Owens was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MoCA) in 2019, coinciding with the inaugural Frieze Los Angeles.