Paula Crown is a multimedia artist with a practice encompassing drawing, painting, video and sculpture. Crown rigorously incorporates cutting-edge technology, collaboration and a commitment to sustainability in her studio.
The artist may be best known for her site-specific, immersive, public installation TRANSPOSITION: Over Many Miles, which was on view in the Miami Design District from 2014 to 2016. Based on the perforated edge of a sheet of paper ripped from her spiral sketchbook, the monumental sculptural centerpiece of TRANSPOSITION was fabricated from reclaimed wood in renowned artist and social activist Theaster Gates’s studio with the assistance of students in his Design Apprenticeship Program at the University of Chicago. Additionally, Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang Architects consulted on the site plan. At various times, Crown transformed the interactive outdoor piece: for Have a Fall she filled the space with 800 pounds of oak leaves to evoke autumn in a city with no change of season, and for Have a Ball, with thousands of colorful rubber balls to create a playground-like setting. Arts groups including New World Symphony and the Alma Dance Theater used the site as an inspiration for and backdrop to their own performances.
Crown has had solo exhibitions at the Aspen Institute (2013), Dallas Contemporary (2014), the Marlborough Gallery in New York (2015) and the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas (2016). In September 2016 she had her second solo show at Marlborough titled Freezing Rain. In addition, Crown collaborated with Gang on a site-specific installation, Wall-Space: The Non-Architecture of the Studio Wall (2014), for Expo Chicago. She has participated in several group exhibitions nationally, including For Freedoms (2016), with Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems and Titus Kaphar, among others, at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, and Mount Analogue (2016), alongside Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby and Rob Pruitt, and curated by Neville Wakefield, at Performance Ski in Aspen.
Crown earned her M.F.A. in painting and drawing in 2012 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where her professors included Michelle Grabner, Susanna Coffey and Terry R. Myers. She has regularly undertaken workshops at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colo., studying under acclaimed contemporary artists Tom Sachs, Fred Tomaselli, Ross Bleckner and Peter Halley. Crown also holds an A.B. magna cum laude in management science from Duke University and completed additional in-depth coursework there in Italian Renaissance art.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Crown to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she chairs the Education Committee. She also serves on the Aspen Institute Committee of the Arts.
Born in Marblehead, Mass., the artist now lives and works in Chicago, where her studio, designed by Gang, has LEED Gold Certification, and in Aspen. She is represented by Marlborough Gallery.
Click edit button to change this text.