September 7 - October 23, 2011

Sarah Crowner

Press Release

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present Acrobat, the second New York solo show by Sarah Crowner.

Sarah Crowner’s painting and sculptural practice takes an expansive step forward in Acrobat as the exhibition not only considers the nuances of form, geometric translations, and materiality but also proposes relationships between painting, theater and dance. Looking at inter-disciplinary moments in the early 20th century when the avant-gardes moved freely between variant practices (from theater to music to poetry to art, etc.), Crowner’s new work offers the possibility that a painting or a sculpture might have another function: as a proposal for a theatrical backdrop, and as maquettes for a stage set. One can imagine acrobats and dancers interacting with her forms; the static (painting) becoming animated.

On one wall of the gallery, six of Crowner’s colorful hand-built canvases line together, hung to appear almost as one long continual painting. Consistent in height, these paintings are carefully choreographed with compositions and geometries spilling into and informing each other. A large gouache diptych anchors the back wall of the space, inviting the viewer to discern abstract elements of the stage —footlights, opened curtains, stage flats, etc. Acting in sync with her canvases, groupings of hand-painted and stained wooden sculptures stand upright on a large pedestal.

A departure from the artists earlier work retooling specific compositions from paintings past, this broader conceptual sphere has now added a new aspect —performance— or more accurately, the surrounding ‘environment’ of a undefined performance, historicizing the material and the physical which has entered her process.

Sarah Crowner received her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA from Hunter College in 2002.  Crowner participated in the 2010 Whitney Biennial and exhibitions worldwide, including Paying a Visit to Mary Part 2, Kunstverein, Amsterdam; Looking Back: The White Columns Annual, New York; For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (traveling) and a recent solo exhibition at Helena Papadopolous, Athens. Crowner will also have a solo show with Catherine Bastide this fall.