Criminal Ornamentation explores the cultural and social dimensions of the use of pattern in art. The exhibition title refers to Adolf Loos' 'Ornament and Crime' (1908) a strongly worded essay in which Loos ridiculed the use of ornament as an indication of poor taste and the lowest level of cultural development.
As a counterblast to Loos’ bombastic text, Yinka Shonibare MBE presents an explosion of pattern and colour bringing together works from across the visual arts including an acidic wallpaper by Glasgow-based designers, Timorous Beasties, the sculptural torso of Tattoo, a subversive work by Edward Lipski and the flowing vegetation of Honeysuckle, a design by May Morris.
Students are using the Loos’ text and Yinka’s response as a starting point to develop ideas around class, identity, local industry, craft and production.
The students are also working with the curators at Longside to develop an event on 30 May at YSP with Dr Matt Lodder on the untold history of tattooing.
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