DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present a solo presentation of new paintings by Robert Kushner, rooted in his unhindered admiration for Matisse, shown alongside his 1970s and 1980s fabric pieces from his Pattern & Decoration period.
As one of the founders of the Pattern & Decoration (P&D) Movement in the 1970s, Kushner has continually addressed controversial and often subversive issues involving the interaction of decoration and art. In his work, Kushner has drawn from a unique range of influences, including Islamic and European textiles, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Demuth, Pierre Bonnard, and Chinese Literati and Japanese Rinpastyle painters.
Kushner first began using textiles and fabrics in his early performance pieces, in the mid-1970s. In these performances, his cloth costumes would also function as art objects. Through his use of fabric, Kushner connected painting, decoration, and costume, while also addressing gender issues and undermining traditional symbols of male power.
In Kushner’s most recent body of work, his paintings remain overtly beautiful and unapologetically opulent. Among the varied influences in Kushner’s oeuvre, Henri Matisse’s influence has been a continual through-line, as Kushner finds resonance in Matisse’s inclination toward design, love of pattern, expressive drawing, and vibrant color. With layers of pattern and backgrounds created from Japanese kimonos and Indian dupatta fabrics, these new paintings remain deeply connected to Kushner’s early P&D roots.