new-york

Valerie Jaudon, Barcarolle, 2014, oil on linen, 54 × 90".

Valerie Jaudon

DC Moore Gallery

Valerie Jaudon, Barcarolle, 2014, oil on linen, 54 × 90".

“Today it is almost impossible,” Valerie Jaudon told an interviewer in 2001, “for anyone to understand the intolerant conformity of the early ’70s institutional art world, its museums, galleries, and critics. Not only was the ‘mainstream’ narrow, but there were no models, art historical or otherwise, to guide one out of the modernist box.” By those lights Pattern and Decoration—or P&D, the movement through which Jaudon emerged in the period she describes—was a reactive push back against a deadening history, and as such fell into the subversive tradition of earlier avant-gardes. Yet by a decade later, the early 1980s, P&D was thought disreputable enough that I remember a colleague at Artforum at the time saying it could never be taken seriously in the magazine. Most obviously, it was decorative—a word still bruised by a century of abuse—and in some forms its

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