Friday, June 26, 2015

The Pattern and Decoration movement

Pioneering Feminist Arts Miriam Schapiro died recently and in her obituary I learned more about The Pattern and Decoration Movement.

Quotes about this movement from her obit:
....creating collage works that straddled the line between painting and textile art, incorporating lace, sequins, needlework, and other traditional women's art objects collected from women across the country.

Schapiro dubbed such work "femmage."

"The thing about Pattern and Decoration for us feminists was that in women's traditional art you see pattern and decoration. And of course the decorative was always considered a trivialization," Schapiro explained.  Her work looked to combat such prejudice, and to elevate craft and domestic culture.

Hidden Chambers by Joyce Kozloff

Quotes about this movement from The NY Times:They all asked the same basic question: When faced with a big, blank, obstructing Minimalist wall, too tall, wide and firmly in place to get over or around, what do you do? And they answered: You paint it in bright patterns, or hang pretty pictures on it, or drape it with spangled light-catching fabrics. The wall may eventually collapse under the accumulated decorative weight. But at least it will look great.

And where do you find your patterns and pictures and fabrics? In places where Modernism had rarely looked before: in quilts and wallpapers and printed fabrics; in Art Deco glassware and Victorian valentines. You might take the search far afield, as most of these artists did.

They looked at Roman and Byzantine mosaics in Italy, Islamic tiles in Spain and North Africa. They went to Turkey for flower-covered embroideries, to Iran and India for carpets and miniatures, and to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for knockoffs of these. Then they took everything back to their studios and made a new art from it.

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