Growing up in the 1970's Soviet Moscow, radicalism was one of the fundamentals in Marsha Owett's early education. With a physicist father and an art collector mother, the family was surrounded by anti-government intellectuals and Soviet Nonconformist artists, many of whom followed them to the United States after their exile in 1977. Risking violent conflicts, through projects like the Bulldozer Exhibition and illegal salons, was a part of everyday life.
Owett would go on to study at The School Of Visual Arts, and live and paint in the East Village in the 1980s, then later in rural Springs, East Hampton, the birthplace of Abstract Expressionism, which would inform her art-making throughout her life. It was in the Springs where Owett developed a technique of action painting with sandpaper, finding images through removing layers of paint from wood panel. In the past decade, this visceral, reductive approach has carried over to her photographic process of finding visual arrangements in thousands of photographs taken from the landscape of New York City, where she currently resides.
Her work has appeared in solo shows at Splashlight Gallery, the Muse Center of Photography and Moving Image, Alfstad&, as well as in group exhibitions at David Zwirner Gallery, Postmasters Gallery, Northern-Southern, and Underline Gallery, among others. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, site95 journal, and Deep Sleep Magazine, and earlier this year, she co-curated a group exhibition “MIMIC: A group exhibition about mimicry, illusion, and material transformation in art” at Air Circulation Gallery with critic Paddy Johnson.