Pattern and Decoration, Ornament as Promise
Exhibition view, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, 2019 ©mumok
Ornament as promise. This could have been a motto for the Pattern and Decoration movement, formed in the mid-1970s in the USA. In this exhibition, with its reference to Adolf Loos’s assertion concerning “ornament and crime,” mumok presents the rich collection of works from this movement of Peter and Irene Ludwig, in the largest presentation of Pattern and Decoration in German-speaking Europe since the 1980s. With oriental-style mosaics, monumental textile collages, paintings, installations, and performances, in the 1970s committed feminist artists like Miriam Schapiro, Joyce Kozloff, Valerie Jaudon, and Robert Kushner aimed to bring color, formal diversity, and emotion back into art. Decoration played a key role, as did the techniques of artisanship associated with it. Various ornamental traditions, from the Islamic world to North American Indians to art deco, were incorporated in their works, opening up a view beyond geographical and historical boundaries. A proximity to folk art was sought as a deliberate counter to the “purism” of the art of the 1960s.
Curated by Manuela Ammer
The project was initiated by the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen and realized in cooperation with the mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien. Following the venues in Aachen and Vienna, the exhibition will be on view at the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.