The Pattern and Decoration Movement emerged in the 1970s. It was the outgrowth of several different trends in the art world at the time: a reaction against the pervasiveness of Minimalism, a growing interest in the history and products of women, and an increased admiration of the decorative arts—ranging from old American quilts to the stylized arabesque forms in early Islamic art. Artists including Miriam Schapiro, Robert Rahway Zakanitch, Cynthia Carlson, Tony Robbin, and many others created colorful and complex paintings, prints, and collages that reflect sources as diverse as early 20th century Russian art, old wallpaper designs, and computer recreations of the fourth dimension.
The Polk Museum of Art has a major collection of works from the Pattern and Decoration Movement, including seven works by Schapiro plus an additional suite of 6 prints. This exhibition will also mark the first opportunity for the public to view major works by Tony Robbin and Cynthia Carlson, which were recently acquired by the Museum.