Elizabeth Pulie / Australia b.1968 / Twenty-nine (from untitled series) 1991 / Synthetic polymer paint on canvas / 140 x 90cm / Purchased 1992 / © QAGOMA

Elizabeth Pulie
Twenty-nine (from untitled series) 1991

On Display: QAG, Gallery 17

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.