LONDON.- 20 Hoxton Square Projects
is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by emerging artist Laurence Owen. His latest series of paintings depict defaced military portraits titled Repetition-1-13 and is concerned with the interplay of contrasts. While in the largescale representations of these powerful figures, should be rendered powerless by the erosion of their features, the paintings possess a quality of eerie intimidation.
Also to be featured in this exhibition, and rendered in a similar style, is a workcalled Dust. Reminiscent of an old school photograph, Dust depicts rows of faded children, their faces in particular, worn away. At once juxtaposing and reflecting Repetition-1-13, Dust highlights the contrasts between adult and child, experience and innocence, authority and deference.
In this show Owen has purposefully chosen to depict these sternly ambiguous characters through oil paint as a medium to reference the theme of regal portraiture throughout art history, as a means to signify the autonomy of contemporary choice.
The warmness in colour and simplicity in the portrayal possesses a purposeful innocence at first appearance, which he uses to contrast the paintings darker, adult, themes of misplaced authority, loss of power and historical repetition. The works, in keeping with their subject matter, will be hung regimentally around the gallery space. The echo of these erased faces, with their various mismatched insignia and uniforms (loaded symbols of unimpeded power) will create an almost threatening display, looming over their observers, watching the viewers who are in turn, watching them.
Owen has previously exhibited in Damien Hirsts In the Darkest Hour, There May Be Light exhibition held at the Serpentine Gallery. While predominantly a painter, he also works with film. One of his shorts, 'Un Petit Reve Curieux', was included in the New York Independent International Film and Video Festival 2006. Interspersing his own selfaware, rawness in style with sixteenth century esoteric illustrations, he explores the concepts of the short-lived splendor in growth and the inevitable acceptance of loss after the decay.