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A work made of oil and acrylic on linen.

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  • A work made of oil and acrylic on linen.




Laura Owens
American, born 1970

About this artwork

Often tinged with an inventive sense of wonder and, at times, humor, Laura Owens’s idiosyncratic canvases quote from such diverse sources as modernist movements—Color Field painting, Op Art, and Pattern and Decoration—the work of artists like Henri Rousseau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and textile art and embroidery. Utilizing a wide range of techniques and materials, the artist’s process includes a long preparation period; she explained, “Some people have commented that that it’s more of an old-fashioned way of working, through sketches and tests where I know about three-quarters of what the painting will look like, and then I make it.” This unapologetically theatrical work features costumed characters that look like they have stepped out of a production by the Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943). Formally, the canvas resembles a sketchbook drawing, but the scale implies that it is instead a playful homage to Bauhaus theater design.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Laura Owens




Los Angeles (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2004


Oil and acrylic on linen


199.4 × 228 cm (78 1/2 × 89 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Nancy Lauter McDougal and Alfred L. McDougal

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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