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With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 at MOCA
October 27, 2019 • 8:00 am - November 4, 2019 PDT
On view October 27, 2019 – May 11, 2020.
Pattern, craft, and decoration seem to be having a revival in art, but for many years, these mediums were viewed as lesser than—especially in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when minimalist art was en vogue. With Pleasure celebrates artists who steadfastly committed to the decorative during this era, arguing that a heavily patterned composition could be just as rigorous as a monochrome painting. Florals and geometric patterns are prominent throughout—adorning quilts or large paintings—and a flair for ‘80s aesthetics is never far. From Judy Pfaff’s wild and layered wall construction, to Kim MacConnel’s gaudily painted couch and lamp, pattern here reminisces on the jubilant fashions of the era. The show insists on a collapsing of genres and hierarchies in the field of art (fibers, craft, and practices deemed “women’s work” have long been notoriously undervalued), and feels freshly urgent in our contemporary art world, where weaving, ceramics, and wall treatments are increasingly gracing our contemporary galleries.