The Pattern and Decoration movement was a hard-charging assault on traditions both ancient and oppressive. It was also an explosion of joyously liberated impulses.
KINDERHOOK, NY — If Jack Shainman wanted to make a splash in upstate New York with his new space The School, then he achieved that goal, as last Saturday’s opening brought roughly 800 locals and art worlders together in a transformed schoolhouse in the town of 8,500.
While in Rochester I stopped by the George Eastman House the former home of Kodak film founder George Eastman, and now home to a pretty unique photography museum. The real treasure though, was both unlikely and unexpected. On my I encountered a vintage cigarette machine, cheerily out of time and place. I was delighted to see not tobacco, but art advertised in its tiny little windows.
I encountered Dread Scott’s curious flag project, “Flags Are Very Popular These Days” (2011), on Facebook and was fascinated by its simplicity. Last month, the artist placed the flags of four nations (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan) on overpasses in upstate New York. These symbols of pride for four Muslim-majority countries— two of which America is currently (and officially) at war with — must have felt jarring to passersby who may not have been able to recognize their meaning or discerned their origins.