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2 paintings in an art gallery
2 paintings in an art gallery


Sarah Crowner’s “Opening Blues,” left, from 2018, with hints of possible moon glow, and “Half Moons,” right, from 2017, at Casey Kaplan.  Credit - Casey Kaplan

Sarah Crowner

Through April 21. Casey Kaplan, 121 West 27th Street, Manhattan

Painters often find their styles by setting narrow limits on their work. But things usually get really interesting when they start working against their own rules. Sarah Crowner, known over the last decade for stitching together cutout shapes of plain or painted canvas to form rectilinear abstract paintings, is sticking to first principles. Yet she’s messing with them so vigorously that “Weeds,” her fifth solo gallery show in New York, has the feeling of a breakthrough.

Ms. Crowner has complicated her compositions, strewing them with tipsy curves, ellipses and parts of circles suggestive of orange sections. Her arrangements borrow from the history of abstraction without accruing too great a debt. Matisse’s cutouts and Ellsworth Kelly’s signature curves, which were often kissing, or stacked like those in the letter B, are repeatedly folded into the flux.

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