Elizabeth Pulie / Australia b.1968 / Thirty-three (from untitled series) 1991 / Synthetic polymer paint on canvas / 140 x 100cm / Purchased 1992 / © QAGOMA

Elizabeth Pulie
Thirty-three (from untitled series) 1991

Not Currently on Display

These works by Elizabeth Pulie represent a new phase in art-making, one that makes reference to the decorative art form — or, as is the case here, books of ornament from the late nineteenth century and books of design patterns from the early twentieth century. Here, Pulie addresses notions of ‘art and commodity’ and ‘deliberateness of production’.

The generic patterns are familiar, reminiscent of tiles, wallpaper and fabric, but simultaneously embody notions of reproduction and originality. Carefully constructed and self-sufficient, these two works could be seen as a pair, as they engage a dialogue that transcends three hundred years of art history: the ideals of Jean Bérain (1640–1711) and William Morris (1834–96) seen in Twenty-nine; and the streamlined machine-age forms of Art Deco in Thirty-three, reflect the total design concepts of early modernist movements.

There was a time when artists sought a synthesis between production and art, when there was a considered attempt to integrate art into life.

Pulie’s work is not so much a return to but a careful negotiation of recent (past) practices which have sought to eschew this integration. Her works, carefully constructed and self-sufficient, are well ‘crafted’ and resolved.