Pattern and Decoration is the first full-scale scholarly survey of this groundbreaking American art movement, encompassing works in painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art, and performance documentation. Covering the years 1972 to 1985 and featuring approximately fifty artists from across the United States, the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. Pattern and Decoration artists gleaned motifs, color schemes, and materials from the decorative arts, freely appropriating floral, arabesque, and patchwork patterns and arranging them in intricate, almost dizzying, and sometimes purposefully gaudy designs. Their work across mediums pointedly evokes a pluralistic array of sources from Islamic architectural ornamentation to American quilts, wallpaper, Persian carpets, and domestic embroidery. Pattern and Decoration artists practiced a postmodernist art of appropriation borne of love for its sources rather than the cynical detachment that became de rigueur in the international art world of the 1980s. This exhibition traces the movement’s broad reach in postwar American art by including artists widely regarded as comprising the core of the movement, such as Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, and Miriam Schapiro; artists whose contributions to Pattern and Decoration have been underrecognized, such as Merion Estes, Dee Shapiro, Kendall Shaw, and Takako Yamaguchi; as well as artists who are not normally considered in the context of Pattern and Decoration, such as Emma Amos, Billy Al Bengston, Al Loving, and Betty Woodman. Though little studied today, the Pattern and Decoration movement was institutionally recognized, critically received, and commercially successful from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The overwhelming preponderance of craft-based practices and unabashedly decorative sensibilities in art of the present-day point to an influential P&D legacy that is ripe for consideration.
This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are paintings and drawings primarily from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, many of which have not before been publicly exhibited. Together these 78 drawings and 22 paintings offer a full picture of the young artist’s achievements.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, October 8, 2017–January 7, 2018
David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, February 1–May 20, 2018
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, June 16–September 23, 2018
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, January 12–April 7, 2019
Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland, April 19–July 14, 2019
Some 250 works explore three distinct periods in American history when mainstream and outlier artists intersected, ushering in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration, and assimilation. The exhibition aligns work by such diverse artists as Charles Sheeler, Christina Ramberg, and Matt Mullican with both historic folk art and works by self-taught artists ranging from Horace Pippin to Janet Sobel and Joseph Yoakum. It also examines a recent influx of radically expressive work made on the margins that redefined the boundaries of the mainstream art world, while challenging the very categories of “outsider” and “self-taught.” Historicizing the shifting identity and role of this distinctly American version of modernism’s “other,” the exhibition probes assumptions about creativity, artistic practice, and the role of the artist in contemporary culture. A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.
The exhibition is curated by Lynne Cooke, senior curator, special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, June 24–September 30, 2018
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 18, 2018–March 18, 2019
Sex, death, romance, magic, terror, wonder, alienation, and freedom: the night invites a myriad of often contradictory associations. For centuries, painters have been drawn to the mysteries and marvels of the night and its perceptual and poetic possibilities. From Rembrandt and his Night Watch to Georges de la Tour’s candle-lit scenes of the seventeenth century, James McNeill Whistler’s woozy Nocturnes, Vincent van Gogh’s dizzying Starry Night, and Edward Hopper’s lonely Nighthawks, artists have sought to capture the mood of the night. Of course, an exhibition about the night is also about the light that illuminates the darkness, from the moon and the stars, to candles, cigarettes, and the glow of cell phones. Many of the artists in The Lure of the Dark look back to predecessors, such as the Impressionists and Monet and Pisarro, to study the night en plein air, completing a painting in a single sitting or night. Featuring paintings — including new commissions — by a diverse group of over a dozen contemporary artists, including Patrick Bermingham, William Binnie, Cynthia Daignault, TM Davy, Jeronimo Elespe, Cy Gavin, Shara Hughes, Josephine Halvorson, Sam McKinniss, Wilhelm Neusser, Dana Powell, Kenny Rivero, and Alexandria Smith, The Lure of the Darkillustrates the ways in which the hours of darkness continue to provoke the contemporary imagination, providing apt metaphors for the diversity of human experience and the intersections of human experience along with the anxious tenor of the day.
In the mid-twentieth century, abstract painters pushed back against the venerable tradition of easel painting, applying pigment to canvas sprawled directly on the studio floor. A generation of artists working in the late 1960s and 1970s went further, manipulating canvas or paper in ways that fabric is commonly handled: folding, scrunching or sewing. The Fabricators brings together the work of four abstract artists who treated traditional art supplies like one might treat cloth.
While best known for his painting-sculpture hybrids of canvases draped from gallery ceilings and walls, Sam Gilliam (born 1933) is also an accomplished printmaker. For his print Thursday, Gilliam paired a handmade sheet of paper with another covered in marks applied with a silkscreen. The artist stitched the two pieces together using a sewing machine. Craig Lucas (1941-2011) applied acrylic paint to the surface of paper collaged with tape, fabric and paperboard. For his large untitled work from 1973, Lucas folded the linen-back paper as he worked. Alan Shields (1944-2005) learned to sew while growing up on a farm in central Kansas. He used Rit, a common fabric dye, to add color to paper and canvas, and embellished the surfaces with beads and machine-stitched thread. Kenneth Showell (1939-1997) crumpled canvas into balls and showered them with tiny droplets of paint using a spray gun. After the canvas dried, he stretched it tightly across wooden bars.
This Fall, MAMCO examines the “Pattern & Decoration” movement, formed in the 1970s and that enjoyed international success in the 1980s, before fading in the decades thereafter. Most of the artists involved were reacting against the dominance of abstract schools in the post-War era, with a particular opposition to Minimal and Conceptual art. They also criticized the pervasive dominance of Western art and male artists in the context of modernism as a whole. Including an equal number of men and women, the group organized around “pattern and decoration” reconnected with what was widely perceived as “minor” art forms and asserted decoration as the true repressed of modernity. This Fall, MAMCO examines the “Pattern & Decoration” movement, formed in the 1970s and that enjoyed international success in the 1980s, before fading in the decades thereafter. Most of the artists involved were reacting against the dominance of abstract schools in the post-War era, with a particular opposition to Minimal and Conceptual art. They also criticized the pervasive dominance of Western art and male artists in the context of modernism as a whole. Including an equal number of men and women, the group organized around “pattern and decoration” reconnected with what was widely perceived as “minor” art forms and asserted decoration as the true repressed of modernity.
Lynda Benglis, Cynthia Carlson, Jennifer Cecere, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Brad Davis, Noël Dolla, Sam Gilliam, Tina Girouard, Simon Hantaï, Valerie Jaudon, Richard Kalina, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Alvin D. Loving, Kim MacConnel, Rodney Ripps, Tony Robbin, Miriam Schapiro, Alan Shields, Ned Smyth, George Sugarman, Claude Viallat, Betty Woodman, George Woodman, Mario Yrisarry, Robert Zakanitch, Joe Zucker
Harvey Quaytman: Against the Static marks the first major solo exhibition of Quaytman’s work since a focused retrospective at PS1 in 1999. As the artist’s first West Coast presentation, the exhibition is an unprecedented opportunity for Bay Area audiences to immerse themselves in the work of an artist whose singular contributions to twentieth-century modernism anticipate today’s renewed interest in the sculptural and material qualities of abstract painting.
“The totality of Harvey Quaytman’s highly original body of work places him squarely within the tradition of modernist painting, yet it also proves him to be one of its most capable and unsung explorers,” said the exhibition’s curator Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator at BAMPFA. “Even as Quaytman inhabited modernism, he incessantly pushed its boundaries and expanded its formal and conceptual concerns in ways that seem even more innovative in retrospect.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, DiQuinzio has edited an illustrated 176-page catalog that features the most in-depth scholarship on Quaytman to date. Published by UC Press, the catalog includes new essays by DiQuinzio, art historian Suzanne Hudson, art critic John Yau, as well as Quaytman’s daughter R. H. Quaytman—a noted artist in her own right, whose upcoming exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum coincides with BAMPFA’s presentation this fall.
From luscious leafy tendrils to stark horizon lines, this exhibition of prints by Hedda Sterne (1910–2011) celebrates the artist’s exquisite variety of formal interests. Although most often associated with a group of artists called the “Irascibles”—avant-garde forerunners of Abstract Expressionism—Sterne defied stylistic categorization. Her aesthetic experimentations fluctuated between organic and geometric, figural and abstract, and painterly and graphic. All share, however, a passionate attention to detail and form.
Drawn from the Amon Carter’s collection, this selection of lithographs features two thematic series that Sterne completed at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1967: Metamorphoses, a study of the vegetal folds of a head of lettuce, and Vertical-Horizontals, a study of the atmospheric recession of the horizon. Both series expose Sterne’s highly original style and her intense exploration of a single theme over the course of many experimental compositions.
Take Up Space presents abstraction as it travels across floors, hangs on walls, and is suspended above stairwells. Abstraction runs throughout this space, exploring and becoming territory. The works – mostly paintings – are results of artists’ projects that consider the relevance and power of abstraction’s possibilities.
The works in these galleries respond: to architecture, to history, to color, to taste, to edges, to time, and to our sociopolitical climate. They are explorations of form. They require us to notice their experimentation. They charge us to take the color, shapes, and scale of their structures into account.
Artists include Sarah Cain, Lita Albuquerque, Zachary Armstrong, Sarah Crowner, Tomory Dodge, Tomashi Jackson, Pamela Jorden, Odili Donald Odita, and Jackie Saccoccio.
Objects Like Us, a group exhibition featuring more than seventy tabletop art objects by fifty-six artists, will open at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in May. This exhibition explores the relational behavior of intimately scaled objects that personify or embody a human condition or attribute. The objects will span nearly sixty years and feature works conceived specifically for the exhibition, including a site-specific floor installation by artist/co-curator David Adamo. The overall experience will underscore the efficacy of the works’ relativity and illuminate the interconnectedness of audience and objects. Objects Like Us, is organized by Amy Smith-Stewart, curator at The Aldrich, and Adamo; it will be on view at The Aldrich from May 20, 2018, to January 13, 2019.
Sarah Peters is included in this group exhibition.
Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera will begin in the 1940s and extend into the twenty-first century to explore large-scale abstract painting, sculpture, and assemblage through more than fifty works from The Met collection, a selection of loans, and promised gifts and new acquisitions. Iconic works from The Met collection, such as Jackson Pollock's classic "drip" painting Autumn Rhythm (1950) and Louise Nevelson's monumental Mrs. N's Palace (1964–77), will be shown in conversation with works by international artists, such as Japanese painter Kazuo Shiraga and the Hungarian artist Ilona Keserü. The exhibition will be punctuated with special loans of major works by Helen Frankenthaler, Carmen Herrera, Shiraga, Joan Snyder, and Cy Twombly.
In the wake of unprecedented destruction and loss of life during World War II, many painters and sculptors working in the 1940s grew to believe that traditional easel painting and figurative sculpture no longer adequately conveyed the human condition. In this context, numerous artists, including Barnett Newman, Pollock, and others associated with the so-called New York School, were convinced that abstract styles—often on a large scale—most meaningfully evoked contemporary states of being. Many of the artists represented in Epic Abstraction worked in large formats not only to explore aesthetic elements of line, color, shape, and texture but also to activate scale's metaphoric potential to evoke expansive—"epic"—ideas and subjects, including time, history, nature, the body, and existential concerns of the self.
The Thomas Cole Site presents SPECTRUM, a site-specific contemporary art exhibition that explores relationships between Thomas Cole’s use of color and that of 11 contemporary artists. Artworks will be sited throughout and in conversation with the historic home and grounds of Thomas Cole (1801-1848), founder of America’s first major art movement, the Hudson River School of landscape painting. The exhibition engages artists in a visual dialogue with Cole and explores how artists use color in their practice at the intersection of art and science.
Anne Veronica Janssens
This November marks the fifth anniversary of the Parrish in its Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in Water Mill. To celebrate this milestone, the annual reinstallation of the Parrish permanent collection presents a closer look at artists whose work represents the ongoing legacy of artists of the East End.
Individual galleries will be dedicated to Abstract Expressionist James Brooks (1906–1992).
Recently, the Museum was entrusted with the most significant collection of works by Brooks and Charlotte Park by the James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation. Twenty paintings on view by Brooks, a key figure in modern American art who lived on the East End for decades, illustrate his embrace of experimentation and risk.
Alan Shields: Common Threads provides insight into the artist’s life-long engagement with textile and the needle arts, and illustrates how his impetus to take painting down from the wall and the stretcher liberated his artistic process.
Schneider Museum of Art
Crossroads mines our collection for stories that resonate today by highlighting the critical role of the artist in everyday life.
This complete reinstallation of our postwar and contemporary art galleries places the work of artists at the intersection of history and society. We’re also bringing dozens of rarely and never-before-shown works out of storage. Curator Eric Crosby finds pockets of depth, diversity, and eccentricities, organizing the galleries in a series of “chapters.”
Crossroads is organized by Eric Crosby, The Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
To celebrate the recent gift of the painting One (1970), by American artist Sam Gilliam (b. 1933), the Block Museum will present a focused exhibition of works by artists engaged with abstraction and the expansion of painting in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. Donated from the estate of Dawn Clark Netsch from the Collection of Walter A. Netsch and Dawn Clark Netsch, One is a quintessential example of Gilliam’s innovative “drape” paintings, which the artist began making in the late 1960’s. Moving beyond the experiments of other painters of the era, Gilliam saturated raw, unstretched canvas with acrylic to create works that lie at the intersection of painting and sculpture. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Gilliam has been based in Washington D.C. since the early 1960’s, and is part of a generation of Washington-based painters who have explored the boundaries of color, scale, and shape in painting.
One will be considered in the context of works from the Block’s collection by Gilliam’s contemporaries Alan Shields and Frank Stella. These works will be supplemented by additional Gilliam works drawn local collections.
Paper/Print: American Hand Papermaking, 1960s to Today. This focused exhibition is the first to trace the American hand-papermaking revolution as an outgrowth of the printmaking renaissance. It brings together the best, along with some of the rarest and lesser known examples, of two-dimensional works, artist books, and cast-paper multiples to spotlight the closely intertwined American stories of printmaking and papermaking in the contemporary period. Spanning more than fifty years, the exhibition will examine the transformation of paper from its traditional role as a substrate for prints to an active partner—and stand-alone medium—in the creation of editions and unique works by such artists as Mel Bochner, Lynda Benglis, Chakaia Booker, Leonardo Drew, David Hockney, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Alan Shields, and Richard Tuttle, to name just a few.