Patterning Art, also known as Pattern Painting or Decorative Art, was developed in the late 1960s in North America and was in existence for around two decades. Based in the USA, the style spread in Europe after an exhibition in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels; the movement's heyday was in the late 1970s.
Pattern Art in the USA is to be regarded as a counter movement to Minimal Art and its emphasis on a rational austerity.
The term "pattern" describes a stylistic concept with the ornament as its basic motif. Pattern Painting basically refers to the Oriental decor, Asian and South American folk art and the colorful and often arabesque works by Henri Matisse and the circle of artists around him, who had major influence on the development of Patterning Art in France. Especially for its European variant, Art Nouveau with its decorative concept of art is a decisive contact point.
Pattern Painting is characterized by a large-format transformation of wallpaper-like surface patterns and the combination of decorative ornaments to strong and colorful compositions. An expressive-gestural tendency, which Patterning Art has in common with neo-expressive art in those days, is predominant.
The main representatives of Pattern Painting are Kim MacConnel, Tina Girouard, Joyce Kozloff, Frank Faulkner, Robert Kushner, François Rouan, Kendall Shaw and Miriam Shapiro, for Germany it is Sigmar Polke who is particularly worthwhile mentioning.