Pattern and Decoration

Hello Friends,

Last week I stumbled upon an article in ArtForum magazine about the Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement of the 1970s and 1980s. It caught my eye because of my interest in the use of patterns in art.

How did I not know about this art movement until now? I guess I was busy being newly married, then newly divorced, and trying to figure out my life during that time.

Discovering the P&D movement has given my art an historical context that I didn’t know it had. I didn’t realize I was part of a tradition or influenced by the P&D movement.

Here’s a description of the P&D movement from Wikipedia that sounds a lot like my art.

The Pattern and Decoration movement consisted of artists, many of whom had art education backgrounds, who had been involved with the abstract schools of art of the 1960s. The westernised, male dominated climate of artistic thought throughout Modernism had led to a marginalisation of what was considered non-Western and feminine. The P&D movement wanted to revive an interest in minor forms such as patterning which at that point was equated with triviality. The prevailing negative view of decoration was one not generally shared by non-Western cultures.

The Pattern and Decoration movement was influenced by sources outside of what was considered to be fine art. Blurring the line between art and design, many P&D works mimic patterns like those on wallpapers, printed fabrics, and quilts.

And here are three pieces by key artists of the the P&D movement.

Pattern and Decoration movement

Joyce Kozloff, “If I Were a Botanist Mediterranean”

Pattern and Decoration movement

Valerie Jaudon, “Hattiesburg”

Pattern and Decoration movement

Susan Michod, “Azteca Shroud”

A lot of my own artwork revolves around patterning and what might be considered decorative art. You can see it most clearly in my “Stream of Consciousness” paintings, where I use kitchen tools to make the patterns in the art.

Cassandra Tondro art

“Space Junk,” 30 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

And most recently you can see it in my “Rubber Sole” paintings, where I use shoes to create patterns. The piece below is my most recent painting in this series.

Cassandra Tondro art

“Sleepwalk,” 36 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

It’s interesting to know where I fit in to history. Better late than never, I guess!

Where do you fit into history? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,


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