“With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art, 1972–85”
              Jonathan Griffin
              Pattern and Decoration (P&D), a tendency which crystallized into a movement in New York in the mid-1970s, is one of the few movements of modern art to have self-designated, rather than been identified either by critical champions (think of Germano Celant and Arte Povera) or by sneering skeptics (Finish Fetish, Fauvism). Its members, though heterogeneous in their work, were united in their artistic tastes and temperament: they espoused a maximalist aesthetic that drew from global traditions and sources, also often aligned with feminist art practices that embraced domestic handicrafts. They had no manifesto, but critical allies including Amy Goldin and John Perreault have written eloquently about their work and aims. According to Perreault, “Pattern painting is non-Minimalist, non-sexist, historically conscious, sensuous, romantic, rational, decorative. Its methods, motifs, and referents cross cultural and class lines.” So it is unexpected, and refreshing, to be welcomed into curator Anna Katz’s survey, “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art, 1972–1985,” by works from three artists not typically associated with the movement. Two untitled wall works by Al Loving combining dyed and printed fabrics, one from 1975 and another from 1982, join with Sam Gilliam’s The St. of Moritz Outside Mondrian (1984) and Lucas ...
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