A mainstay of textiles and crafts, patterns—in all their myriad forms—have captured the imaginations of artists for centuries. With strong roots in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern arts, patterns reached an apex in Britain in the 19th century with the Arts and Crafts Movement, when the designer William Morris revolutionized Victorian taste with his popular biomorphic pattern designs for fabric and wallpaper. More recently, repeated designs and motifs have found their way into the work of contemporary artists including Damien Hirst and Fred Tomaselli, as well as Net artists trafficking in glitch aesthetics and other forms of visual patterns found in computer coding.
Neither concrete nor ephemeral, the contemporary artist Mira Hecht’s new paintings—which are currently on view in her exhibition “All Things Vanish,” at Washington, D.C.’s Addison/ Ripley Fine Art—feature all-over kaleidoscopic patterns, rendered on canvas, panel, or paper. Hecht paints circular, diamond-, and petal-shaped motifs, layered in diaphanous arrangements so that they appear to twinkle, flutter, and sometimes vanish into the distance. Painting onto both large- and small-scale surfaces, Hecht renders her carefully balanced compositions in a range of colors, from yellows, grays and blacks, to deep blues and crimsons.
“Inspired by glimpses of perfection within the mind’s eye, each painting is meant to be a small gesture of exhalation, pointing to joy, connection and wholeness,” Hecht has said. At once ethereal and permanent, Hecht’s paintings are endlessly alluring, captivating the viewer’s eye with their radiant patterns.
“Mira Hecht: All Things Vanish” is on view at Addison/Ripley, Jan. 18th–Mar. 15th, 2014.