During the 1970s, artists in Los Angeles and New York boldly challenged conventional norms by pushing the boundaries of form, color, and meaning. While the art movements of conceptualism, Pop Art, and Minimalism gained significant attention and acclaim, there were also artists working with equal commitment to redefine aesthetic value and challenge established hierarchies in the art world. Many artists featured in this exhibition were affiliated with the Pattern and Decoration movement. They reveled in the handmade and sought to legitimize aesthetic ideas beyond those that preoccupied the mainstream art world.
Throughout the exhibition, vividly painted canvases, detailed embroidery, as well as gold foil and mosaics greet the visitor. A feast for the eyes, the works included in the exhibition are unabashedly sumptuous. Beginning with pattern painting and moving into complex fiber works, the exhibition examines how artists embraced excess and rejected restrained formality. In their work and in their personal lives, several artists considered feminism to be a core component of their practices. Some aimed to elevate color palettes and techniques traditionally associated with women artists. Visitors can hear from featured artists and learn more about each artist’s practice by scanning QR codes found throughout the galleries.
This exhibition is presented in honor of Norma Canelas Roth (1943–2022). A tireless advocate for artists, Roth felt deeply passionate about collecting art that was often neglected by mainstream art dealers, critics, and curators. Born in Puerto Rico, she lived much of her life in Florida and remained committed to collecting in depth; in fact, this exhibition presents a selection of works collected by Roth, many of which made by artists affiliated with the Pattern and Decoration movement, which she collected extensively.
Embellish Me: Works from the Collection of Norma Canelas Roth and William Roth is presented in collaboration with the Tampa Museum of Art.