Laura Owens: Pavement Karaoke / Alphabet

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William Kherbek reviews the exhibition Laura Owens: Pavements/Karaoke Alphabet at Sadie Coles HQ, London, on view through November 17, 2012.

Kherbek writes: "It isn’t easy making interesting paintings these days, what with even good artists thinking that a few squiggles on their iPhone converted into oils suffices to become 'Now', but Owens’ works manage the elusive trick of meaningful dialogue with predecessors and intense realisation of individual vision. It’s a marvel that they escape history so deftly, not least given the fact that the works use classified adverts from the 1960s and 70s as a strange species of almost Cartesian grounding for granules of volcanic rock and strips of heavily worked paint… The adverts are interesting as anthropology, but have an impressive way of melting into near abstraction underneath the paint."

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