About the Artwork

Robert Owen has been working for over 40 years in a practice that includes painting and sculpture. Driven by a fascination for light and colour, his work neither stands in isolation as formal composition nor claims a narrative; rather, geometry, systems and structures are devices to carry the phenomenological concerns related to presence and the poetic.

His more recent Origami series, including Sunrise #3, is similarly focused but vastly different in form. Sunrise #3 is a vibrant wall painting produced from plans that can be adjusted by flipping, inverting and reorienting to suit different walls. Made up of large areas of pure colour in duplication of origami paper folds, their possible variations introduce an element of chance architectural space. These works create an animated space that appears as a shifting, kinetic perceptual field. Robert Owen’s significant wall painting, commissioned by the museum and able to be re-configured to various locations, relates to abstract works in the Collection as well as to the history of wall drawing in the MCA program and indeed in the Collection.


Vivienne Webb (curator), MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context (exhibition texts), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2005

Robert Owen

– About the artist


Robert Owen revisits geometric abstraction with an artist’s eye for both transformation and continuity. Owen’s geometry is distinguished by a celebration of colour as a symbolic and material force, and light and darkness as an expression of being. His grid is like a stringed instrument that is in perpetual play. As such, it creates a synaesthetic spectrum that resonates with the Buddhist principle of impermanence. The artist unites two seemingly incompatible worlds that have long been a passion: the rational and the spiritual.

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Related Exhibitions

Volume One: MCA Collection

– Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 2012


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