Susan Morgan


    Laura Owens makes wily, sensational paintings: Lines sweep into our peripheral vision, speed along as daringly as fearless schoolgirls sliding on ice, then burst unexpectedly into shapes—tiny spiraling volcanoes of color, wavering horizons, or bulky clouds. If Owens’s style—a surprising blend of mid-century formalism and Pop mischieviousness—evinces a cagey knowingness, it also reveals an unabashed delight in the voluptuousness of paint and form. With their light touch and winking palette (Rainbow Brites, avocado, harvest gold)—not to mention Owens’s open, nonpolemical disposition—her

  • “Las Horas de Belén–A Book of Hours”

    In a chapel at the heart of Mexico City, a portrait of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the proto-feminist seventeenth-century poet known as the “Tenth Muse,” hangs high on a plain white wall. Just outside, in the adjoining churchyard, a low maze of ruins is all that remains of the cloister where Sor Juana (1651–95) once lived. Throughout this beautiful but moldering city, Juana’s image is a constant presence, curiously at odds with the country’s entrenched tradition of machismo; her discerning gaze adorns banknotes, decorates cafés, and looks out from murals chronicling Mexican colonial history. At