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Sarah Crowner creates her paintings by sewing together angular pieces of painted canvas. The geometric compositions evoke the style of Hard-Edge paintings of the 1950s and 1960s. However, the visible seams that result from Crowner’s process complicate pristine surfaces by evoking the tactile qualities of patchwork. With its associations of domestic labor, the act of sewing also confronts the high seriousness of abstract painting with the unpretentious tradition of craft.
The jagged black-and-white compositions on view in 2010 directly reference the work of British artist Bridget Riley, who became known in the early 1960s for her visually confounding Op Art paintings and sculpture—meticulous geometric abstractions that produced complex optical effects. Using images of Riley’s 1963 sculptural installation Continuum (now destroyed) as a sort of template, Crowner reconstructs a three-dimensional work as a series of two-dimensional objects on an intimate, human scale.