Born 1937, Sydney. Lives and works Melbourne.
Raised in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Robert Owen has been exhibiting as a painter and sculptor since the early 1970s. He lived in Greece from 1963 to 1966 and in London from 1966 to 1975. His practice consists equally of minimalist sculpture and geometric abstract painting. Both these forms express his ongoing interest in colour, light and geometric form.
Owen represented Australia at the 38th Venice Biennale in 1978 and has had over 35 solo and 80 group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Group exhibitions include Photographic Abstractions, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne (2011); Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); New Acquisitions in Context, MCA, Sydney (2005); A History of Happiness, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2002); Geometric Abstraction in Australia 1941–1997, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (1997); Spirit and Place: Art in Australia 1861–1996, MCA, Sydney (1996).
Survey exhibitions include The Text of Light, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Victoria (2004); Different Lights Cast Different Shadows, 2nd Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2004); and Between Shadow and Light – London Works 1966–1975, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne (1999).
Owen’s commissioned public sculptures include Webb Bridge at Docklands, Melbourne in collaboration with architects Denton Corker Marshall. Inspired by an Aboriginal eel trap, it won the Joseph Reed Architectural Award for urban design in 2005.
Owen is widely represented in national and international collections including the British Museum, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Olympic Sculpture Park, Seoul; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; and many private collections.