On the Wall Contemporary Wallpaper
Publisher & Date
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2003
Wallpaper was once ubiquitous and is still common in domestic settings, but it has rarely been given the same kind of attention bestowed on fine-art objects or other applied arts. Nonetheless, many artists — from Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) to William Morris (1834-96) and Andy Warhol (1928-87) — have created wallpaper and considered this activity to be a significant endeavor.
Despite the move away from ornamentation over the past century in both the fine and applied arts, a number of artists trained as painters, sculptors, and postmodern conceptualists seem to find in wallpaper design an opportunity to return to recognizable imagery and content. How ironic that as the status and popularity of commercially produced wallpaper declined during the twentieth century and the taste for neutral grounds grew, fine artists have come to find the possibilities of wallpaper liberating.