Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
But the real transformation (and Brice Marden will totally snarl, if he could snarl, at this) happens when we then shrink it down into something we can savor, which is a postcard glossy or a picture in a magazine. Not that the real paintings aren’t good but “the real paintings” are an entirely different thing from the public’s actual perception of an artist. Of all the people talking about Laura Owens, how many have actually seen her work up close? And even then, you only get to see it once, and then all you have is your memory of your reaction, which is based as much on the barometric pressure outside that day as it is on any grand theory of art. I heard collectors bought out an entire exhibition of Ian Whitmore paintings based on just looking at them online.
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
Owens is among those artists whose work actually withstands (and perhaps even improves or at least creates something different but still very valuable with) shrinkage. If true, I submit it is because shrinkage carries further a process which the artist herself has already begun taking her infinite dreams and attempting to capture them on a “tiny” canvas.