September 3 – 24, 2021
Opening reception: Friday, September 3, 2021, 5 – 8 PM
Owen McAuley was an artist who lived in Cheney, Washington. He grew up in Cheney and attended Eastern Washington University, where he received a B.F.A. in in painting and drawing in 1995. He subsequently lived and worked in Seattle until 2000, when he moved to Austin, Texas to pursue his M.F.A. in painting and drawing, and exhibited work in numerous venues there. He received his M.F.A. in 2003 and then moved to New York, where he lived for the next decade, making and showing his work in addition to working in Robert Longo’s studio.
Upon returning to Cheney after leaving New York, Owen began to create a body of work heavily influenced by his physical surroundings and the Eastern Washington landscape. Typically, mundane subjects such as wheat fields, buildings and powerlines took on new life in his paintings and drawings. Often, a narrative hum beneath the surface of the picture, yet even imagined scenarios are made enthralling by the current of realism binding all of his work.
Owen drew inspiration from frequent walks and drives in the country around Cheney. Though he rarely worked directly from a photograph, he took and kept many as source material. His studio was littered with post-it notes, sketches and printouts; some notes were reminders for camera and light settings, others contained ideas for titles or directions to himself for what a picture needed. His house was a veritable art factory: the studio was one of both art and photography, as photographing his work had become a science, and an entire back room was devoted to framing and packaging. He took on the role of instructor in recent years as well, teaching classes for the Spokane Art School in addition to private lessons.
Owen’s work has been shown across the U.S. and is represented in numerous private collections in the U.S. and Europe. His work has been featured in publications such as New American Paintings and Juxtapoz, among others.