Friday, November 4, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Katie Crown's "Audiences"

Katie Crown, Silent Majority, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48"
TAG Gallery’s exhibition of paintings and drawings by Katie Crown comes just in time for the election countdown. Crown has been experimenting with the theme of audiences – of individuals engulfed within a group. Crowds in her colorful paintings and in her black-and-white drawings return the art viewer’s gaze. These are works of the people and for the people, but also commentary about alienation. As Crown worked on audience paintings recently, she contemplated the categorizing of voters who will decide in November about our future. “People get labeled by group,” she noted, “What does an ‘undecided’ person look like, anyway? What about a group of them?”
Katie Crown, Undecided, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48"
Everyone has been part of audiences. Viewing Crown’s audiences brings that shared experience to mind. Being part of an audience seems to give people carte blanche to behave any way they choose. At the gallery, though, there’s no need to silence your cell phone and refrain from talking. 
Katie Crown, Respect Their Elders, Pencil and Charcoal, 46 x 32"
Is the individual diminished by becoming subsumed in a group or strengthened by unity with others? Crown’s work explores this visually with the challenge of creating exciting compositions built on faces and clothes of various people in her audiences. Her focus on audiences previously took the form of ceramic sculptures and then film-noir inspired black-and-white paintings. Her current show dazzles with colorful individual fashion choices trellised onto the gridded structure of heads in rows. Crown says, “I love working with patterns,” and the joy of that beams through the tight-knit compositions.
Katie Crown, Standing Room Only, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48"
Katie's work will be on view at TAG through November 19.
Gallery events include:
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 5, 5-8pm
Meet the Artist: Saturday, Nov 12, 3 pm

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