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Spoleto Festival USA 2019 Poster Features Work by Los Angeles–based Painter



Laura Owens’s “Untitled,” 2016

Festival General Director Nigel Redden revealed the 2019 Spoleto Festival USA poster, featuring the work of acclaimed painter Laura Owens.

The painting, Untitled (2016, oil and screen printing ink on linen, 20″ x 15″), received its first showing at the contemporary art gallery Sadie Coles HQ in London. Owens draws from a wide range of source material and references—from embroidery and textiles to texts and decorative patterns—and often fuses the languages of abstraction, decoration, and figuration. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions around the globe, most recently a mid-career retrospective featuring more than 60 of her paintings, which opened in November 2017 at the Whitney Museum of American Art and traveled subsequently to the Dallas Museum of Art and MOCA Los Angeles, where the exhibition is on view through March 25, 2019.

Redden approached Owens to be the featured artist for the Fesival’s 2019 poster after seeing her spectacular retrospective at the Whitney. “Ms. Owens has an extraordinary range, and the Festival is lucky to receive one of her paintings for the poster,” he said. “I think this particular work exemplifies the vibrancy, and also the curiosity, of the Festival. The unusual face within the piece certainly invites a closer look, and Ms. Owens’s layering techniques seem to conjure different ways of looking at things, which is very reflective of the Festival’s nature.”

Since 1977, Spoleto Festival USA’s season posters have featured works by such artists as David Hockney, Charles Gaines, Jonathan Green, Maya Lin, Chuck Close, Elizabeth Murray, Sol Le Witt, Jasper Johns, and Christian Thee, among others. A gallery of past posters available for sale can be found at Spoleto Festival USA posters are limited editions and not reprinted once sold out.

The poster is available for purchase online at or by calling 843-579-3100 (Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm). Beginning April 30th, the poster will be available at the Festival box office, located in the Charleston Gaillard Center (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm).

Laura Owens

Over the course of her career, Laura Owens (b. 1970) has become recognized for her ranging and experimental approach to the medium of painting—an approach that embraces a breadth of sources from the avant-garde to the populist to the decorative. Recent solo exhibitions include those at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco (2016), Secession in Vienna (2015), and Kunstmuseum Bonn in Germany (2011). Owens was born in Ohio and studied at California Institute of the Arts and Rhode Island School of Design. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Spoleto Festival USA

Founded in 1977, Spoleto Festival USA is an annual 17-day performing arts festival in Charleston, South Carolina, that presents leading artists in classical and popular music, opera, jazz, dance, and theater. With a mission of showcasing programs of the highest artistic caliber, the Festival also maintains a dedication to young artists, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists. In the more than four decades since its inception, the Festival has established itself as one of the world’s leading festivals, presenting more than 200 world or American premiere productions.

The 2019 season takes place May 24 – June 9 in various locations on the downtown peninsula, including the Dock Street Theatre, College of Charleston Cistern Yard, and the Charleston Gaillard Center.

Spoleto Festival USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Press Release

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