The Wave

January 5 - February 2, 2014

Sarah Crowner

Press Release

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to announce The Wave, the gallery’s third solo show of works by Sarah Crowner. The Wave presents an arrangement of sewn paintings surrounding an elevated, glazed terra cotta tile floor.

The Wave invites viewers into an installation whose function is expressed equally as stage-like viewing platform and distinct painterly composition, extending the exhibition across visual and tactile forms. Blue-green tiles, handmade with the artist in Guadalajara, Mexico, are organized into an amplified chevron pattern set atop a raised platform within the space of the gallery. Each tile, fired and glazed individually, conveys inconsistencies and irregularities in surface, color, and edge—furthering the artist’s engagement with the handmade. The viewer stands on the tiles in order to observe the paintings – hot red on raw canvas – their curvy wave forms torqued upwards. Right angles on the floor are set in variance with the orange-red waves on the walls, and an environment is created.

Throughout, the exhibition exposes the step-by-step process of constructing an architectural space via parallel arrangements of pattern. Suffused with specific allusions spanning fine and applied arts, such as Alexander Girard’s interior design schemes and textile patterns from the Wiener Werkstatte, the works eschew compositional purity for a more fluid relation between procedures and media. In the artist’s work, an analogy is established and elaborated between the logics of painting and tiling. Either by thread or by grout, structures are organized and joined together in relation to adjacent units. Across Crowner’s meticulously constructed mise-en-scène, repetition shuttles between the abstract and concrete: at once dispersing the figurative across motif and materializing the act of painting as the fabrication of a room within-a-room.

Sarah Crowner lives and works in New York City. She earned her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York, in 2002. She also attended École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, in Paris, France. Crowner’s work has been featured extensively in group and solo exhibitions in institutions including: The Walker Art Center; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; Kunstverein, Amsterdam; WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; and The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, among numerous other public and private venues internationally.