Crowder’s earliest large field painting, the innocent sounding Wide Blue was completed at around the same time as No Future Work Without Fear, and shares with the it the ‘spine’ of bone fragments running vertically down/up the canvas. An advance on pieces like Waste of the Waste or Leukomorph, these later canvases try to imagine themselves traversed by a wave or pulse of energy, such that their various elements have been temporarily pushed together, here into a zone of increased density.
The disturbed elements form a bare and broken centre, which the paint cannot either sublimate or repair. Wide Blue’s landscape format de-emphasises the strong up/down dynamic of later paintings which rely on the same basic motif. Accordingly, instead of rooting us to the ground in front of it, the painting encourages us to feel as if we were viewing it from above, the eye moving over it like territory being scanned.
These aspects - of discovery and exploration - are central to a Crowder’s relation with the individuals who encounter it: the rewards of their active looking the painting cedes readily, completing its work.