Visual artist Sarah Crowner (b. 1974, Philadelphia) makes paintings, ceramics, sculptures, installations, and theater sets. Her large-scale sewn canvases display a fluency in mid-twentieth-century art, artists, and architecture, with a particular regard for geometric abstraction and color field compositions. Crowner’s rigorous practice has long engaged thematic research with an abiding interest in materials, craft, and their related histories and processes.
Architecture and space are as significant to Crowner’s practice as is painting. Her tiled platforms, stone sculptures, and site-specific wall pieces transform spaces into three-dimensional experiences in which the viewer processes the environment as one autonomous artwork. Her patterns, drawn equally from the natural world and historic sources, create an entryway between the art object and the context, enabling the viewer to literally step inside her work. Crowner has also created set designs for dance and theatrical performance, which further underscore her desire and ability to envelop the viewer in her vision, and blur distinctions between various media and scales.
Sarah Crowner earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996 and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York in 2002. In September 2023, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation will host Sarah Crowner: Around Orange, an exhibition of three new site-specific artworks responding to the architecture of the Pulitzer’s Tadao Ando building and Ellsworth Kelly’s monumental wall sculpture, Blue Black. Also in September 2023 the Hill Art Foundation will present The Sea, the Sky, a Window, a project by Sarah Crowner that will place site-specific works by the artist in dialogue with sculptures and paintings from the Hill Collection, as well as key loaned works, most notably works by Cy Twombly. Other significant recent projects include a 2022 solo exhibition at Museo Amparo in Puebla, Mexico, which was accompanied by a catalogue, as well as a 2022 commission by the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX for a site-specific tile installation that will remain on view into 2024. In 2016, Crowner was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; a major monograph was produced on the occasion of that exhibition. Crowner’s work has also been featured in a number of group exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial 2010, New York; Abstract Generation: Now in Print, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Excursus IV: Primary Information, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2013); Painter Painter, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); Conversation Piece, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014); and the Carnegie International Exhibition, 57th Edition (2018). Her work is in the collections of major international institutions including Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Contemporary Austin, TX; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN.