A small, graphic and quite beautiful arrangement of the whitest bone fragments across an oily dark ground, So Nothing exists in considerable tension with its own self-denying name. Like a lot of the other very small pieces, it can be thought of as a particularly personal meditation on life and its ups and downs - and correspondingly may be approached for an equally intimate insight into what makes a Crowder work.
It may equally be appreciated in formal terms. In its bare black-and-whiteness, it could be a drawing - and does indeed hark back to Crowder’s early fascination with ink on paper, especially a series of powerful graphics that the artist undertook as part of his initial research toward Here Lies. (These drawings are not part of the exhibition here.) However, So Nothing’s deepest formal kinship is surely with certain of Henri Matisse’s cut outs.
Over the long years of Here Lies’ gestation, a couple other small works related to this piece have been quietly gifted by the artist to his closest friends. So Nothing is one he kept for himself.