Cut Pattern Paste
Oct. 7 to Dec. 16, 2023
Pannell Gallery — Open Thurs. 3-5pm and Fri./Sat. 12-5pm
Crafty-Eve Reception Thurs. Nov. 2, 6:30 to 8pm
You might not think the pattern on your grandmother’s wallpaper is subversive… but a group of artists in the 1970s co-opted decorative ephemera, from cake icing to paper doilies, as art that challenged traditional hierarchies. Through excessive paper cutting, wallpaper patterning, and doily pasting, on every square inch of the canvas, they rebelled against ideas of ‘women’s work’.
Taking inspiration from Islamic patterns, they introduced tessellations and calligraphy into their art, expanding visual associations to cultures beyond Europe and North America. Turning to crafts found in the quilt bee and letter writing circles, they also elevated the tactile and repetitive acts of domesticity. Artists in this Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement resisted 1950s abstraction, liberating future artists to use, misuse, and subvert the decorative in their art and tell new and troubling stories.
The exhibition Cut Pattern Pastecontains Sweet Briar College collection works by Pattern and Decoration artists from 1970 to 1985 (below in bold), as well as their contemporaries, and those working now.
Jennifer Bartlett - Phyllis Bramson - Amy Chan - Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Lalla Essaydi - Mahsa R. Fard - Ida Kohlmeyer - Joyce Kozloff - Henri Matisse - Deb Mell - Joe Monk - Uzo Njoku - Ann Pakradooni ’43 - Judy Pfaff - Faith Ringgold - Miriam Schapiro - Krystyna Smiechowska - Kara Walker.
Exhibition paper-collage and dot-painting signage commissioned from Dahbia Bensaada ’23 and Melody Cooper ’24.
Amy Chan: Minor Arcana
Oct. 4 to Dec 9. 2023
Benedict Gallery — Open 9-9pm
Amy Chan’s paintings contain the optimism that is part of their making. The joyously artificial color hums with dissonance through the clean materiality of gouache. The flat shapes offer humor and monumentality, while hinting at the unease of a science fiction landscape. Chan draws from disparate sources like cartoons, science textbooks, plants, design and operation manuals for her paintings. The interplay of color and shape to perch on the edge of harmony, while pointing the viewer towards something more unknowable.
Auz Miles: Water Dancers
Sept. 14 to Dec. 9. 2023
Vaulted Gallery — Open 9-9pm
Austin “Auz” Miles’ work uses a mixture of abstract and figurative imagery to tell stories about beauty ideals, spirituality, ancestry, and individual experiences of women as they relate to the African Diaspora. Through her work, Austin hosts visual conversations that ignite understanding and inspire community healing. Miles has produced a number of key murals in Richmond, including one through the Mending Walls project in 2020. Her studio is in Petersburg, Virginia.