hand-painted wallpaper by laura owens wraps vincent van gogh exhibition in france

hand-painted wallpaper by laura owens wraps vincent van gogh exhibition in france

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laura owens and vincent van gogh


with her meticulously hand-painted wallpaper, american artist laura owens adorns the walls of a vincent van gogh exhibition in france. based in los angeles, the contemporary painter takes to france to display the work, which is currently on view at foundation vincent van gogh arles. the field of patterning floods the galleries to highlight the dichotomy between a new style of art and the 19th century post-impressionism that has become so well known across the world.


the exhibition ‘laura owens and vincent van gogh’ is now on view in arles and will show until october 31st, 2021.

laura owens van gogh
images courtesy of foundation vincent van gogh arles and the artist



homage to a lesser-known talent


laura owens cloaks the arles gallery spaces with her hand painted wallpaper, punctuated by seven works by vincent van gogh — all loaned to the foundation in arles, france from a handful of international museums and galleries. together with the collection, a series of laura owens’ own paintings are on display.


many of the motifs in the wallpaper come from designs made by winifred how, who worked in london as an artist and designer shortly after van gogh was alive. owens discovered an archive of how’s work in los angeles while considering the invitation to make this show in arles. aware of van gogh’s incredible fame and the total obscurity of another artist from nearly the same period, she chose to celebrate how’s work in hosting van gogh’s.

laura owens van gogh



art in dialogue with its gallery


laura owens has often addressed the spaces where she has exhibited. many early works responded to the architecture of a gallery. for this exhibition she has created a vast painting, in the form of a unique hand-painted and silkscreened wallpaper installation, which covers the entire walls of the rooms where the van gogh works are exhibited.


the artist notes van gogh’s influence on her work throughout her career, see through her ‘conceptual use of dramatic impasto,’ and echoing even through her subject matter. one of her breakthrough paintings untitled (1997), now in the collection of the whitney museum of american art, shows black birds over a seascape, reminiscent of van gogh’s wheatfield with crows (1890).


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laura owens van gogh hand-painted wallpaper by laura owens wraps vincent van gogh exhibition in france


hand-painted wallpaper by laura owens wraps vincent van gogh exhibition in france



project info:


project title: laura owens and vincent van gogh

artist: laura owens

location: foundation vincent van gogh arles, france

on view: june 19th, 2021 — october 31st, 2021

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