press release

In her new works Sarah Crowner argues against a distinction between painting and object, fine and applied arts, geometric abstraction and representation. With pieces of fabric, burlap and canvas painted in oil or gouache, sewn together with an industrial machine, she conjures up images of dancers’ bodies in motion, theater stages and spotlights. The tactility of the surfaces is intensified by the stitching, the resulting irregular curved lines or diagonals that connect the different areas of color and texture, the ovals that recede and supercede. The compositions obliquely evoke the experiments of concrete art and the early 20th century European avant-gardes as well as the experiments of 1960’s Californian hard-edge painting. Crowner’s organic, personal interpretation of geometric abstraction is generated through the jetisson of restrictions and hierarchies around which non-representational praxis is often organized.

Untitled (Red and White), 2011 and Untitled (Yellow and White), 2011 are redolent of the candor of Ellsworth Kelly’s art through the use of bright colors at their full intensity while the curves tapering off and the sudden interruptions in Untitled (Black, White and Gray), 2011 have a touch of Yiannis Moralis’ unorthodox take on formalism with whom she had a two-person show at Nice and Fit, Berlin in 2009. Crowner, whose raw material is art history, has been transfiguring, re-arranging, transliterating the archive of modernist abstraction without the archivist’s analytical, orderly, factual concern. As Todd Alden puts it “ like a throw of the dice, [she] is dreaming silently of the alphabet that dreams”.

Sarah Crowner was born in Philadephia, USA in 1974. She lives and works in New York. In 2010 she was selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial of American curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari. Group exhibitions include Paying a Visit to Mary, Part 2 at Kunstverein Amsterdam (2011), Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York (2009), For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there (2009), curated by Anthony Huberman (ICA, London/MOCA, St.Louis/De Appel, Amsterdam). Sarah Crowner and Paulina Olowska: Ceramics and Other Things, DAAD, Berlin (2009). She has had solo exhibitions at Nice and Fit, Berlin and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York while a solo is planned with Catherine Bastide, Brussels.

Sarah Crowner
Zig Zags and Curves