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Laura Owens, Untitled, 2015, oil, Flashe paint, acrylic, silkscreen inks, and gesso on linen, five panels, each 108 × 84". Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Laura Owens

Capitain Petzel

Laura Owens, Untitled, 2015, oil, Flashe paint, acrylic, silkscreen inks, and gesso on linen, five panels, each 108 × 84". Photo: Jens Ziehe.

The five freestanding canvases that make up Laura Owens’s Untitled, 2015, were arranged in a diagonally angled row, like a scaled-down painterly cousin of Richard Serra’s Promenade, 2008, or a scaled-up line of ready-to-fall dominoes. This setup encourages viewers to walk around and among them, inspecting their lively versos. Still, there is only one technically correct viewpoint. Look down the sequence from its head, fine-tune your position by shuffling your feet, and the visible overlapping fragments of text printed on the frontages—texts whose point size grows as the paintings recede, compensating for distance and suggesting, together, a single flat plane—suddenly snap into readability, if not profundity: THERE WAS A CAT AND AN ALIEN. THEY WENT TO ANTARTICA [sic]. THEN THEY TELEPORTED TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. THERE THEY GOT 11,000000 BOMBS AND BLEW THEM UP AND

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