Robert Owen studied sculpture under Lyndon Dadswell at the National Art School, Sydney, graduating with honours in 1962. He lived in Greece (1963–66) and London until 1975, when he returned to Sydney. In 1988, he moved to Melbourne, where he held the position of Associate Professor and Head of Sculpture at RMIT University until 2001. Owen’s practice includes sculpture, installation, painting, photography and major public commissions. He was awarded a John Moore’s Liverpool Exhibition 7 UK prize (1969) and represented Australia along with John Davis and Ken Unsworth at the 38th Biennale of Venice (1978). Owen has received major design awards for public commissions including Webb Bridge, Melbourne in collaboration with architects Denton Corker Marshall, and is represented in numerous public and private collections worldwide. His art practice is characterised by diverse interests, linked through a poetic and intuitive sensitivity to the expressive potential of space, light, colour, context and materials. In 2003, he received the Australian Council Visual Arts/Crafts Emeritus Award for a lifelong service to the visual arts.

Robert Owen is represented by ARC ONE Gallery and is a member of Artery Co-operative Ltd, Melbourne, Australia.