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Reconsidering the Carpet Paradigm

(2012)
Abstract
Carpets have been important motives in the visual arts since the Renaissance (Holbein, Lotto, Vermeer), and they were especially made prominent through 19th century Orientalism (Delacroix, Gérôme, Cézanne). The influence on painters and writers was thorough and the carpet, now more than just a motive, became a model and instrument for images. This tendency was termed the “carpet paradigm” by Joseph Masheck (1976) who traced its influence until abstraction in the 1960s. On the other hand, the carpet is important when discussing the relation between decorative and fine arts. The decorative connection was disregarded for many decades, a circumstance that makes the return of the carpet in contemporary art all the more interesting. This return... (More)
Carpets have been important motives in the visual arts since the Renaissance (Holbein, Lotto, Vermeer), and they were especially made prominent through 19th century Orientalism (Delacroix, Gérôme, Cézanne). The influence on painters and writers was thorough and the carpet, now more than just a motive, became a model and instrument for images. This tendency was termed the “carpet paradigm” by Joseph Masheck (1976) who traced its influence until abstraction in the 1960s. On the other hand, the carpet is important when discussing the relation between decorative and fine arts. The decorative connection was disregarded for many decades, a circumstance that makes the return of the carpet in contemporary art all the more interesting. This return – in painting, sculpture, installations etc – provides our starting point for discussions on contemporary image theory and art history.



In this session, papers should address the return of the carpet paradigm as a means of analyzing the carpet as motive and/or medium. Can the carpet function as a model for a better understanding of images in general? Of special importance is the fact that it calls for various theoretical and methodological approaches – this makes it relevant when it comes to art history in general. It forms a crossroads for research on images, textiles, literature, decorative arts, iconography, gender, ornament, and cultural transfers to name but a few. The lines of investigation are interconnecting: How can image theory/art history benefit and improve through a reconsideration of the carpet paradigm? And how can contemporary art carpets alter our understanding of the carpet in a historical perspective?



We welcome papers that question the historic legacy and cultural relevance of the carpet. These connections are manifold – from direct use (West), to quotes (Kneffel), parodies (Delvoye), political implications (Hatoum) to reflections on painting and textiles (Feldmann) as well as pattern and ornament (Sayinli/Ekvoll). Papers might also consider aspects such as materiality, production and cultural context, especially in terms of how materiality is linked to iconicity. A contemporary view may help in rethinking early 20th century art – as Anger (2004) exemplifies with Klee who seemingly turns from the decorative in order to establish himself as a male painter. The denigration of decorative matters, such as ornament and pattern, as something feminine, has been highlighted through the critical eye of a gender perspective, and this has been an important and necessary step in the deconstruction of art history. This questions many notions linked to the carpet – such as interiority and softness (cf Gronberg 2007 and Colomina 1994) – that might be addressed.



Papers that consider the other indicated line of thinking, the carpet in relation to image theory, might try to show if a nuanced reading facilitates a new take on the image, and its prolific status in contemporary art promises to make this an important and fruitful endeavor. The particular structure, the inseparable combination of material and medium in one artifact may be put to work in order to reconsider the image in general. The specific visual logic of the carpet underlines this concern. (Less)
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University of Basel, Johanna Rosenqvist, Division of Art History and Visual Studies, Lund University, Dept. of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism, Ph.D., Martin Sundberg, johanna.rosenqvist@kultur.lu.se, martin.sundberg@unibas.ch
editor
Sundberg, Martin LU and Rosenqvist, Johanna LU
publisher
[Publisher information missing]
project
Konsthantverkande och performativitet. Representationer av genus och genre
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
86a6db2f-93de-400c-991a-bba693c2956a (old id 2277473)
date added to LUP
2012-07-24 08:53:30
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:33:05
@proceedings{86a6db2f-93de-400c-991a-bba693c2956a,
  abstract     = {Carpets have been important motives in the visual arts since the Renaissance (Holbein, Lotto, Vermeer), and they were especially made prominent through 19th century Orientalism (Delacroix, Gérôme, Cézanne). The influence on painters and writers was thorough and the carpet, now more than just a motive, became a model and instrument for images. This tendency was termed the “carpet paradigm” by Joseph Masheck (1976) who traced its influence until abstraction in the 1960s. On the other hand, the carpet is important when discussing the relation between decorative and fine arts. The decorative connection was disregarded for many decades, a circumstance that makes the return of the carpet in contemporary art all the more interesting. This return – in painting, sculpture, installations etc – provides our starting point for discussions on contemporary image theory and art history.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In this session, papers should address the return of the carpet paradigm as a means of analyzing the carpet as motive and/or medium. Can the carpet function as a model for a better understanding of images in general? Of special importance is the fact that it calls for various theoretical and methodological approaches – this makes it relevant when it comes to art history in general. It forms a crossroads for research on images, textiles, literature, decorative arts, iconography, gender, ornament, and cultural transfers to name but a few. The lines of investigation are interconnecting: How can image theory/art history benefit and improve through a reconsideration of the carpet paradigm? And how can contemporary art carpets alter our understanding of the carpet in a historical perspective?<br/><br>
<br/><br>
We welcome papers that question the historic legacy and cultural relevance of the carpet. These connections are manifold – from direct use (West), to quotes (Kneffel), parodies (Delvoye), political implications (Hatoum) to reflections on painting and textiles (Feldmann) as well as pattern and ornament (Sayinli/Ekvoll). Papers might also consider aspects such as materiality, production and cultural context, especially in terms of how materiality is linked to iconicity. A contemporary view may help in rethinking early 20th century art – as Anger (2004) exemplifies with Klee who seemingly turns from the decorative in order to establish himself as a male painter. The denigration of decorative matters, such as ornament and pattern, as something feminine, has been highlighted through the critical eye of a gender perspective, and this has been an important and necessary step in the deconstruction of art history. This questions many notions linked to the carpet – such as interiority and softness (cf Gronberg 2007 and Colomina 1994) – that might be addressed.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Papers that consider the other indicated line of thinking, the carpet in relation to image theory, might try to show if a nuanced reading facilitates a new take on the image, and its prolific status in contemporary art promises to make this an important and fruitful endeavor. The particular structure, the inseparable combination of material and medium in one artifact may be put to work in order to reconsider the image in general. The specific visual logic of the carpet underlines this concern.},
  editor       = {Sundberg, Martin and Rosenqvist, Johanna},
  keyword      = {University of Basel,Johanna Rosenqvist,Division of Art History and Visual Studies,Lund University,Dept. of Arts and Cultural Sciences,Eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism,Ph.D.,Martin Sundberg,johanna.rosenqvist@kultur.lu.se,martin.sundberg@unibas.ch},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {[Publisher information missing]},
  title        = {Reconsidering the Carpet Paradigm},
  year         = {2012},
}