November 8 through December 23, 2007

PostDec featured the 2007/2008 Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in Painting at the Hartford Art School, Joyce Kozloff, as well as a distinguished group of artists including Polly Apfelbaum, Jim Isermann, Robert Kushner, Jesse Lambert, Dinh Q. Le, Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel, Virgil Marti, Suzanne McClelland, Beatriz, Milhazes, Renee Petropoulos, Lari Pittman, Eduardo Sarabia, Beverly Semmes, Miriam Schapiro, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Fred Tomaselli, Hanza Turgul, and Robert Zakanitch.

With paintings, sculpture, and installations that explode with color, pattern, and texture, these works unabashedly blurred conventional boundaries between high/low art, craft, industrial, textile, fashion design, and the decorative arts. However, often underlying this flamboyance are subversive undertones – commentaries on history, society and politics.

The springboard for the exhibition was the Pattern and Decoration movement that evolved in the 1970s championed by a group of artists on the east and west coasts who drew inspiration from art forms outside the mainstream of the prevailing art practice. Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Robert Zakanitch, Miriam Schapiro, and Kim MacConnel, among others, were drawn to non-Western art, and fabric and tapestries from various periods and cultures seeing the potential they provided in creating rich and sensual imagery. Miriam Schaprio, a leader of the women’s movement at that time championed the visual vocabulary of “women’s work,” which incorporated such things as sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

As subsequent generations of artists absorbed these ideas and adopted more and more pluralistic approaches and global attitudes, Pattern and Decoration became less of a discrete movement than a model reinforcing its importance as an inherent aspect of art-making.

This exhibition reinforced and illuminated the dynamic aspects of the creative process where painting and sculpture, craft, and all facets of design inform each other.

PostDec was curated by Zina Davis.

Panel discussion: November 8
Featuring Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Jesse Lambert, and Renee Petropoulos. Moderated by Zina Davis.

Photography by David Stansbury Photography