PRINT November 1977

Issues in Pattern Painting

PATTERN PAINTING IS NON-MINIMALIST, non-sexist, historically conscious, sensuous, romantic, rational, decorative. Its methods, motifs, and referents cross cultural and class lines. Virtually everyone takes some delight in patterning, the modernist taboo against the decorative notwithstanding. As a new painting style, pattern painting, like patterning itself, is two-dimensional, nonhierarchical, allover, a-centric, and aniconic. It has its roots in modernist art, but contradicts some of the basic tenets of the faith, attempting to assimilate aspects of Western and non-Western culture not previously allowed into the realms of high art.

Pattern painting does not necessarily obviate or preempt other possibilities. It does, however, seem to be the most vital of several new directions for painting at this time.1 An artist-generated movement that presents serious critical problems, it may signal

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