Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Tina Girouard

We Called Her General Girouard

Video still, Food, 1972, Gordon Matta-Clark, © Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

An ad, printed in the Spring 1972 issue of Avalanche magazine, trumpeted in boldface type ‘FOOD’S FISCAL FAMILY FACTS’. Most of the readers of Avalanche would, it was assumed, be at least part way familiar with FOOD, the restaurant opened in SoHo by artists Gordon Matta-Clark, Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, and Rachel Lew a few months earlier. It was already a fabulous success, and the Downtown art scene was tight knit in those days and more or less identical to Avalanche’s readership. Also, FOOD was the only decent restaurant in the neighborhood. 

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‘With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art, 1972–85’

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

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View of “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972—85” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2019–20. Image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff Mclane.

Pattern and Decoration (P&D), a tendency which crystallized into a movement in New York in the mid-1970s, is one of the few movements of modern art to have self-designated, rather than been identified either by critical champions (think of Germano Celant and Arte Povera) or by sneering skeptics (Finish Fetish, Fauvism). Its members, though heterogeneous in their work, were united in their artistic tastes and temperament: they espoused a maximalist aesthetic that drew from global traditions and sources, also often aligned with feminist art practices that embraced domestic handicrafts. They had no manifesto, but critical allies including Amy Goldin and John Perreault have written eloquently about their work and aims. According to Perreault, “Pattern painting is non-Minimalist, non-sexist, historically conscious, sensuous, romantic, rational, decorative. Its methods, motifs, and referents cross cultural and class lines.”1 Read the rest of this entry »