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Long Live the New! Morris & Co. Hand Printed Wallpapers and K. Malevich’s Suprematism, Thirty Four Drawings, including covers, addendum and afterword

Mabb, David. 2017. Long Live the New! Morris & Co. Hand Printed Wallpapers and K. Malevich’s Suprematism, Thirty Four Drawings, including covers, addendum and afterword. Red Wedge(4), [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The installation Long Live the New! Morris & Co. Hand Printed Wallpapers and K. Malevich’s Suprematism, Thirty Four Drawings, including covers, addendum and afterword is made from a combination of two books: a Morris & Co. wood block printed wallpaper pattern book from the 1970s containing 45 sample wallpaper designs by William Morris, the 19th Century English wallpaper, textile and book designer, poet, novelist and Communist; and the Russian artist and pioneer of abstraction Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematism, Thirty Four Drawings, published in 1920. Pages from Malevich’s book, including its front cover and afterword, have been painted (or, for the afterword, pasted) sequentially over the pages and front cover of the Morris & Co. wallpaper book. This interleaves the two designs, which are formally ‘merged’ together, ceasing to be objects that can be held and becoming an installation of paintings. But another transformation also takes place. The ‘politics of form’, the aesthetic investigation of the ideological intersections and differences of the two books, re-visions the world out of its constituent historical elements. Morris’ once utopian wallpaper designs are recharged with political meaning by their dialectical juxtaposition with Malevich’s Suprematist drawings and vice versa. This suggests a way of reinterpreting the past, through a restaging and reconfiguring of key moments in the history of art and design, that investigates what a visual language of change might look like. Long Live the New! questions both the rose tinted medievalism of Morris and Malevich’s idealised Suprematism.

Item Type: Article

Keywords:

William Morris, K. Malevich, painting, installation, wallpaper

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Art

Dates:

DateEvent
29 December 2017Published

Item ID:

22820

Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2018 16:17

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 14:20

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22820

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