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Sarah Crowner: Paintings for the Stage

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
15 February, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
20 March, 2019
Event Category:



Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, is pleased to present the first solo show in Asia by New York artist Sarah Crowner. The exhibition will comprise a series of new stitched canvas paintings by the artist, as well as a collaboration with the Hong Kong-based scenic painter and theatre set designer, Pink Lam. Paintings For The Stage will be a continuation of the artist’s architectural and scenographic interventions, as seen most recently in her works at the 57th edition of The Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, scenery and costume design for Jessica Lang’s Garden Blue for the American Ballet Theatre Company, and the commission she created for the Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York.

Crowner’s multi-disciplinary practice draws on art, fashion, graphic design, theatre and performance to create dynamic works that recall 20th century geometric abstraction and re-examine the principles of geometry, proportion and the articulation of space that shaped modernism at its birth. At times the seams in her stitched canvases, and forms they suggest, recall hard-edged paintings of the 1960s, in others curved lines conjure biomorphic abstractions.

In recent years Crowner has exhibited her paintings in conjunction with ceramic tile murals and floor installations placed on elevated platforms in a gallery context, creating a bespoke, intimate environment or stage setting. She embraces the idea of painting as object, while pushing the parameters of its reading beyond the limits of the stretcher. Her exhibitions orchestrate a continual play between the surface of her paintings and the spaces in which we encounter them; formal echoes of pattern, surface and colour between the paintings and the architectural interventions she executes encourage a collapse in the distinction between painting and context – between the players and their stage.

Pink Lam, based in Hong Kong, is an artist specialising in theatre set design and mural painting. On the occasion of Crowner’s exhibition, Lam will execute a wall painting, as a backdrop for the space on which Crowners stitched canvas works will be installed.


About Sarah Crowner
Sarah Crowner was born in 1974 in Philadelphia, PA and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA from Hunter College, New York. In 2018 she held exhibitions at the 57th Carnegie International, at the Carnegie Institute of Art, KMAC, Louisville Kentucky, USA, and created the scenery and costumes for Garden Blue, at The American Ballet Theatre, presented at Lincoln Center, New York. In January 2017, a major installation by the artist, commissioned specifically for The Wright restaurant, opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Beetle in the Leaves, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2016-2017); Plastic Memory, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2016); Everywhere the Line is Looser, Casey Kaplan, New York, NY (2015); Interiores, Travesia Cuatro, Guadalajara, Mexico (2014); The Wave, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, NY (2014); Rehearsal, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden (2012). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, New York, NY (2015); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2014); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2013); WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium (2013); ICA, Philadelphia, PA (2013); Zacheta National Museum of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2013); Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2013); and the 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2010). Her work is held in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and Walker Art Canter, Minneapolis, MN, amongst others.

About Simon Lee Gallery
Founded in Mayfair, London in 2002, Simon Lee Gallery represents artists of diverse generations whose practices range from sculpture and painting to video and photography and who share a broad interest in an exploration of the conceptual. Aiming to provide a significant international audience for its artists, the gallery also regularly punctuates its programme with historical exhibitions and curated group shows, which present shifts in contemporary art practice and thought, whilst broadening the dialogue with artists outside of the gallery’s core programme. In addition to its UK activity, in 2012 the gallery opened a space in Hong Kong, helping to introduce its artists to a wider public in Asia, with a fully independent programme. In 2014, Simon Lee Gallery opened an office and private viewing space. In 2017, the New York space was re-launched with an independent year-round programme of exhibitions and events, showcasing the work of emerging and established artists in dynamic group and solo exhibitions.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @SimonLeeGallery

Image: Sarah Crowner, Rotating Wings, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, sewn 208.3 x 198.1 cm (82 x 78 in.) Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery

For further press information, images and requests please contact Haniya Bhatty: [email protected] / +44 (0) 207 491 0100.


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