This exhibition surveys Systemic Pattern Painting by a specific group of artists who were part of the Criss-Cross cooperative. These artists lived primarily in New York City and Boulder, Colorado and explored complex mathematically-derived patterns and abstract structures. The cooperative was part of the broader Pattern and Decoration movement from the 1970s. This presentation focuses on artworks mostly from the 1970s and 80s, with a few selections by Dean Fleming from the early 1960s and recent paintings by Clark Richert and Robert Swain.
David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming presentation, Systemic Pattern Painting: Artists of the Criss-Cross Cooperative that includes artworks by artists: Charles DiJulio, Dean Fleming, Richard Kallweit, Gloria Klein, Marilyn Nelson, Clark Richert, Dee Shapiro, Robert Swain, George Woodman and Mario Yrisarry. The opening reception with several of the artist will be Sunday September 9, 2018 from 1:00 to 6:00 PM and the exhibition will be on view through October 7, 2018.
The gallery will host two panel discussions. The first includes Richard Kallweit, Marilyn Nelson and Clark Richert and will be moderated by Anne Swartz, Professor of Art History, Savannah College of Art and Design on Tuesday evening, September 11 from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. The second panel discussion includes Gloria Klein, Dee Shapiro and Mario Yrisarry, the date will be announced separately. The discussions will be recorded and posted on www.davidrichardgallery.com.
A digital catalog will be available online featuring artworks as well as reproductions from the Criss-Cross Art Communications of original essays and interviews from the mid to late 1970s with each of the artists in the exhibition. Recent essays by Clark Richert and Marilyn Nelson will be included as well as an essay by art historian and critic Peter Frank of Los Angeles.
About Systemic Pattern Painting:
Patterns exist in many different disciplines and are ubiquitous in daily life, they can be found in nature, mathematics, architecture, dance and art. What is unique about the patterning from the artists of the Criss-Cross cooperative is their highly technical approaches and rigorous processes. The patterns are detailed, complex and frequently multilayered and range from repeating patterns with regular tessellation to non-periodic patterns that are infinite and never repeat within a single structure. Aesthetically, the artists processes range from highly precise with crisp lines to more painterly approaches that rely on the patterns and color to harmonize and provide structure from a distance.
Systemic pattern painting is predetermined in the artist’s mind, the process is ordered and structured with rules—mostly self-imposed as part of a disciplined process to maintain compositional rigor and continuity, generally involves mathematical counting systems and most frequently with repetition such that patterns emerge. The patterning of the Criss-Cross cooperative is rooted in the grid, use of polygons, a love of fractal geometry and color.
Regarding members of the Criss-Cross cooperative, Marilyn Nelson states that, “They identified with anti-impressionistic, non-minimalistic, non-conceptual works; mechanic and precise techniques; ordered pieces shaped by the mind prior to execution; and those that integrated individual elements systematically, permitting each element to maintain its own identity while serving to comprise the whole”.
About the Criss-Cross Cooperative:
The Criss-Cross cooperative emerged out of the artist community Drop City that was located near Trinidad, Colorado in the southeast corner of the state in the late 1960s. The residents of Drop City were inspired by Allan Kaprow’s “happenings”, Robert Rauschenberg’s and John Cage’s performances and Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. The vector geometry and complex patterns and structures of the domes influenced the artist residents and pattern became an integral part of their art making practices.
Five artists and filmmakers from Drop City, Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky, Richard Kallweit, Charles DiJulio and Clark Richert, founded Criss-Cross Cooperative in 1974 in Boulder. The group later expanded to include filmmaker Fred Worden, painter and print maker Marilyn Nelson from the University of Arkansas and painter Dean Fleming who was a founder of the Libre Artist Community in 1967 and a neighbor of Drop City. Fleming was also a founder of the important Park Place group and gallery in New York in the early 1960s, a collective of like-minded artists interested in space, vector geometry, painting, sculpture and performance in lower Manhattan. Criss-Cross also included painters Gloria Klein, Dee Shapiro, George Woodman, Robert Swain and Mario Yrisarry, all from New York.
An Important component of the cooperative was the publication of the Criss-Cross Art Communications from 1974 to 1980 and curated national and international exhibitions all focused on “systemic patterning” and structure. The publications and exhibitions provided scholarship on these complex and abstract topics as well as a forum for sharing ideas, theories and new works as well as exposing the work of other artists working outside of the cooperative.