new-york

Frank Faulkner

Monique Knowlton Gallery

Is pattern painting dead? Tom Marioni has recently written that it “will end as fast as Op Art did.” A number of prominent pattern painters won’t publicly discuss the issue anymore (it’s old news) and prefer “decorative”—although even that word is losing its anti-formalist effectiveness. The really important kill-off, the signal that pattern is ready to be scrapped: one room of the Whitney Biennial is devoted to pattern-decoration-banner-architecture art (Joyce Kozloff, Kim MacConnell, Rodney Ripps). When it’s come this far in its institutionalization, hasn’t it got to be nearly over?

Frank Faulkner’s paintings have changed. Whatever charms they might have possessed before are veiled by their insistent patterns. Perhaps a movement is dead when it spawns a string of imitations. Faulkner’s previous work consisted of dots and dashes as motives repeated in an allover configuration, with special

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