Beige Crowd No. 1, 1991
oil and acrylic on canvas
213.7 x 152.4 x 7.6 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 36110)
This series of paintings by Cran is based on grainy images from magazines, enlarged until their huge half-tone dots -- the very medium that makes the images visible -- are so prominent that they begin to disrupt the images. This coarse pattern is then overlaid with an abstract screen of stripes, further distancing the images. The tendency of the image simultaneously to appear and disappear is crucial. Cran has said that "the half-tone accumulating into an image is an analogue to the construction of meaning." Thus, by delaying the "reading" of the image, these paintings reveal the desire to find meaning.