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With Pleasure

Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985

Anna Katz (Editor), Elissa Auther (Contributions by), Alex Kitnick (Contributions by), Rebecca Skafsgaard Lowery (Contributions by), Kayleigh Perkov (Contributions by), Sarah-Neel Smith (Contributions by), Hamza Walker (Contributions by)


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A timely and expansive survey of a groundbreaking American art movement that overturned aesthetic hierarchies in a riot of color and ornamentation

The Pattern and Decoration movement emerged in the 1970s as an embrace of long-dismissed art forms associated with the decorative. Pioneering artists such as Miriam Schapiro (1923–2015), Joyce Kozloff (b. 1942), Robert Kushner (b. 1949), and others appropriated patterns, frequently from non-Western decorative arts, to produce intricate, often dizzying or gaudy designs in media ranging from painting, sculpture, and collage to ceramics, installation art, and performance. This dazzling book showcases an astonishing array of works by more than 40 artists from across the United States, examining the movement’s defiant adoption of art forms traditionally viewed as feminine, craft-based, or otherwise inferior to fine art.
In addition to offering an overview of the Pattern and Decoration movement as it is commonly recognized, this volume considers artists of the period who are not typically associated with the movement. Rethinking the significance of patterns and the decorative in postwar American art, this panoramic view provides new insights into abstraction, feminism, and installation art. Essays explore the movement’s feminist methods and values, including Miriam Schapiro’s “femmage” practice; its impact on contemporary abstract painting; and its relationship to postmodern architecture and design. Artist biographies, an exhibition history, and reprints of historically significant writings further establish With Pleasure as the most expansive publication on the subject.

Praise For With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985

"[I]mpressively produced and comprehensively conceptualized . . . [an] intelligent and attractive book."—Ellen G. Landau, Women's Art Journal

“Valuable primary and secondary source data, along with 175 artwork images, has been combined to create an impressively produced and comprehensively conceptualized catalogue.”—Ellen G. Landau, Woman’s Art Journal

Yale University Press, 9780300239942, 328pp.

Publication Date: December 10, 2019

About the Author

Anna Katz is associate curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.