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Joyce Kozloff
Nationality: 
american
Gender: 
Female
Birth Date: 
1942
From the National Gallery of Art: Joyce Kozloff's compositions rely on colorful, intricate ornamental patterns arranged in subtle and complex relationships. She works in both abstract and representational idioms, incorporating motifs from diverse cultures and imagery from the history of art into lively decorative compositions that evoke a range of associations. Born in Somerville, New Jersey, Kozloff studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and received her graduate degree in fine arts in 1967 from Columbia University. At that time, minimalism was ascendant, and her early works are refined geometric abstractions. Her increasing interest in the cultural significance and aesthetic potential of ornamental pattern led her away from spare formalism. Her mature work reinterprets and transforms themes and references from the world's art into works that are resonant with cultural and feminist overtones. In addition to her paintings and prints, she has received numerous public commissions, creating, for example, a ceramic wall for the Harvard Square subway station, and devising decorative programs for railway stations and airports in many American cities. Other info: Joyce Kozloff is a painter commonly associated with the Pattern & Decoration movement of the 1970s. The movement was an effort to challenge the stigma that modern art had put on ornamentation. The artists of this movement drew inspiration form arts and cultures outside the mainstream of modern art: Islamic, Celtic, and Arts and Crafts. In an interview in 2000, Kozloff says of this cultural melding: "I would not enjoy a world in which cultures became homogeneous and lost their singularity. All my work is appropriated from outside sources; I create a hybrid, a fusion of diverse materials, but I don't disguise their uniqueness or stylize them beyond recognition. We are flooded with imagery from everywhere: in our museums, our libraries, our media. For years, I've been trying to put it together for myself." Kozloff explains her new work in a recent interview in Raleigh's News & Observer "Decorative is associated with functional, and things that are functional, at least in the West, are not often viewed as high art. And also the decorative arts are associated with women and people of color, non-Western people. Mainstream art history is a series of white male geniuses who paint or sculpt."