Pattern & Decoration Movement

The Pattern and Decoration Movement (P&D), was an art movement in North America from the 1970s-80s. It conceived a vision of ‘multicultural, non-sexist, non-classist, non-racist, non-hierarchical art’. The art world at that time was dominated by a westernised culture of male artists creating a margin between what was considered non-western and feminine. Patterning was revived by influences from Islamic tiling and mosaics from Spain and North Africa and embroidery from Turkey. This created an unsure divide between what was considered Fine Art and Craft based practice. Most artists of the movement incorporated domestic craft in to paintings and collages. I find this movement influential towards my mediums and artwork as I would like to experiment with the extent of craft within Fine Art and see how far I am able to take this in to my practise.
Notable Artists within the P&D Movement include:
– Judy Chicago
– Miriam Schapiro
– Rob Kushner
– Joyce Kozloff
– Kim MacConnel
– Cynthia Carlson
– Sonya Rapoport
– Valerie Jaudon

Something that interests me further about the P&D movement is that a few associated artists of the movement tended to step away from their art being labelled as ‘feminist art’. I feel that in my practise I am able to relate to this defining of artwork as I am unsure of a particular message or meaning I want to convey, but I stand with feminism and enjoy exploiting women’s rights through the use of craft-based mediums in my work. These do not only represent feminism either, for I am able to address and protest a lot of other issues as the new movement ‘craftivism’ conveys.


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