Opening Reception: Friday, February 23, 6-8pm
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to present Painting/Object: Sarah Crowner, N. Dash, Sam Moyer, Julia Rommel, Erin Shirreff, on view February 23—May 19, 2018, on its 10th floor. The exhibition features new and recent works by five New York-based contemporary artists who draw upon Ellsworth Kelly’s legacy in their varied practices. Painting/Object coincides with FLAG’s exhibition Ellsworth Kelly, curated by Jack Shear, on its 9th Floor.
The title of the exhibition refers to a phrase used by Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015) to describe Window, Museum of Modern Art, 1949, the first work in which he combined multiple relief panels to create one image: “It is the replica of a window that does not exist as either window or painting but as painting/object…the flattening of the forms in paintings condenses vision and presents a three-dimensional world reduced to two dimensions.” Kelly’s newfound direction, which would ultimately become the cornerstone of his oeuvre, disrupted painting’s traditional figure-ground relationship and resulted in an increasingly simplified visual language. Crowner, Dash, Moyer, Rommel, and Shirreff employ similar formal tactics as Kelly, yet each embraces the mark of the artist’s hand to highlight distinctive approaches to construction, materiality, and process.
Sarah Crowner integrates repeated shapes and patterns—often in saturated, primary colors— into graphic compositions that evoke hard-edge painting, modernist design, and textile production. Crowner’s patchwork construction of panels of raw and painted canvas references craft traditions, such as quilting, sewing, and collage. “It’s a way of creating form by joining material,” Crowner says of her process, which she uses to bring more tactility to the medium. “They are really objects more than paintings.”
N. Dash’s monochromatic, stacked canvases encapsulate the artist’s tactile engagement with the world. Dash layers gesso, paint, and graphite over adobe—hand-collected in New Mexico—to create textural surfaces that accentuate the natural cracks, ripples, and imperfections of the material underneath. Beveled at the edges, these paintings pivot between two and three dimensions, and acknowledge their material’s historical significance in creating structure.
Sam Moyer’s newly created Coenties Slip and Spencertown, both 2018, reference New York locations where Kelly lived and worked throughout his career. Rye, 2018, which completes the triptych, represents a place of personal significance to Moyer. In her work, the artist fuses painted canvas and reclaimed fragments of granite, marble, and limestone—stones used in capacities ranging from classical sculpture to kitchen design—into color field abstractions that address ideas of labor and beauty.
Julia Rommel incorporates physical traces of construction into paintings that layer process, color, and elements of chance. Geometry, ridges, and breaks in monochromatic planes are the result of the artist repeatedly stretching, painting, un-stretching, and re-stretching linen canvas on differently-scaled bars. Rommel’s The Unbelievers, 2016, is directly inspired by Kelly’s black and white photography, and employs a similar strategy of high-contrast, angular shapes that accentuate architectural forms.
Erin Shirreff explores the possibilities of representing three-dimensional objects through photography, painting, sculpture, and video. Shirreff’s sculpture Catalogue, 21 parts, 2016, is comprised of handmade cylinders, arches, irregular blocks, and a variety of other shapes, assembled en masse to create a compact still-life. The artist photographs similar sculptural components and prints them in large-scale format; this shift in scale and medium recasts intimate objects as monumental or architectural.
Sarah Crowner (b. 1974) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Crowner received a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, in 1999, studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris, France, in 2002, and earned a MFA from Hunter College City University of New York, New York, NY, in 2002. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including at Casey Kaplan, New York, NY (2018) (forthcoming); Sarah Crowner/Tutsi Baskets, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Plastic Memory, Simon Lee Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2016); Beetle in the Leaves, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2016); among others. Her works have been included in major group exhibitions, including Invitation Exhibition, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY (2018) (forthcoming); Hog’s Curve, Halsey McKay, New York, NY (2018) (forthcoming); 5KV / 5 Years of Art and Design in Kvalitář Gallery, Kvalitář Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2017); Für Barbara, Hall Art Foundation, Derneburg, Germany (2017); among others. Crowner has been the subject of articles and reviews in Art in America, Artforum, Frieze, Modern Painters, The New York Times, Vogue, among others.
N. Dash (b. 1980) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY, and New Mexico. Dash received a BA from New York University, New York, NY, in 2003, and a MFA from Columbia University, New York, NY, in 2010. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including at Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (2018) (forthcoming); Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy (2017); Casey Kaplan, New York, NY (2016); Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin, Germany (2015); among others. Her works have been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Generations Female Artist in Dialogue, Sammlung Goetz, Berlin, Germany (2018); The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, FL (2018); N. Dash | Virginia Overton | B. Wurtz (Form, Content, Place), Maisterravalbuena, Lisbon, Portugal (2017); Heartbreak Hotel, Invisible Exports, New York, NY (2017); among others. Dash has been the subject of articles and reviews in Art in America, Artforum, Artsy, Frieze, The New York Times, among others.
Sam Moyer (b. 1983) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Moyer received a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., in 2005, and a MFA from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 2007. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including WIDE WAKE, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, NY (2017); Brick Window, 56 Henry, New York, NY (2017); MGM, JOAN Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (2017); among others. Her works have been included in numerous solo exhibitions, including EDIFICE, COMPLEX, VISIONARRY, STRUCTURE, Sean Kelly, New York, NY (2018); Crooked Bazaar, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City, Mexico (2017); Drawing Island, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2017); New Ruins, American University, Washington, D.C. (2017): among others. Moyer has been the subject of articles and reviews in Architectural Digest, Art in America, Artsy, Cultured, T Magazine, The New York Times, Vulture, The Wall Street Journal, among others.
Julia Rommel (b. 1980) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Rommel received a BS from the University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, in 2002, and a MFA from The American University, Washington, D.C., in 2005. She has been the subject of solo & two-person exhibitions, including Stay-at-Home, Matthew Cerletty & Julia Rommel, Standard, Oslo, Norway (2017); Man Alive, Bureau, New York, NY (2016); A Cheesecake With Your Name On It, Overduin & Co., Los Angeles, CA (2016); Two Italians, Six Lifeguards, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2015); among others. Her works have been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Milwaukee Collects, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI (2017); Zombie Formalism, ca. 1970/2016, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY (2016); The Congregation, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY (2016); among others. Rommel has been the subject of articles and reviews in Art in America, Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, New York Magazine, Mousse Magazine, among others.
Erin Shirreff (b. 1975) is an artist living in New York, NY. Shirreff received a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, in 1998, and a MFA in Sculpture from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 2005. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including Halves and Wholes, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2016); Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Boston, MA (2015); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2015); Arm’s Length, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY (2015); among others. Her works have been included in numerous group exhibitions, including You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred, Zubludowicz Collection, United Kingdom (2017); Gray Matters, Wexner Art Center, Columbus, OH (2017); MOMENTA/Biennale de L’image: Erin Shirreff—Concrete Buildings, Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada (2017); L’image voiée, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); among others. Shirreff has been the subject of articles and reviews in Architectural Digest, Art in America, Artforum, ArtReview, Frieze, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, among others.
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 Wilmes, Ulrich. “Black and White.” Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White, Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2012.
 Mendelsohn, Meredith. “Artist Crowner finds beauty in both shapes and the spaces in between.” Architectural Digest, April 11, 2016.