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Reinterpreting pattern and decoration in contemporary painting

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Hawley, David(David Ronald) (2003) Reinterpreting pattern and decoration in contemporary painting. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This project presents pattern and decoration as a
strategy for the continuation of painting well beyond
modernism. Of particular concern is painting's ongoing
obsession with pictorial space and how, given its own
medium specific limitations, it is able to present or represent
the world. Consequently it assumes that the
'death of painting' characterized only the end of one
particular narrative.
In the paintings, lines and shapes are arranged into a
motif by a process similar to cell division or biformation.
The motif is repeated in many ways, occasionally
creating kaleidoscopic spatial sensations; it often appears
in the centre of compositions. The repetition and
representation of this motif in each painting is also reiterated
in the use of serialization, as individual paintings
become part of a larger relational macro structure. These
operations are reflective of pattern and decoration.
Formalist strategy is essential, as scale, paint application
and centrality present pattern and decoration in ways not
usually associated specifically within the medium of
painting. The works do not sit comfortably as paintings
alone; instead they display qualities characteristic of
printmaking or even sculpture.
The project alludes to more than painting about painting,
even though the internal dialogues of painting are
evident. It presents pattern and decoration as open
signifiers. It does not subscribe to the exclusive
modernist ideology concerning a work of art's autonomy,
as the works refer to more than their own internal
operations and engage also with external phenomena. In
this project, painting's exchange with modernism is not
one of irony, or subversion, as was the case with other
more recent conceptual modes of painting. Instead, it is
indicative of a resurgent interest in approaches to painting
that emphasize the sensory and retinal whilst also echoing
manifestations of formalist possibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Keywords: Painting, Modern
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2003 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Accompanying CD-ROM in pocket inside back cover. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 02:45
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 03:44
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