Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design is a multigenerational survey of strategies of pattern and decoration in art and design. Borrowing its ethos from Robert Venturi’s infamous retort to Mies van der Rohe’s modernist edict “less is more,” it includes works that privilege decoration and maximalism over modernism’s “ornament as crime” philosophy. The catalog begins in the 1970s with artists who sought to rattle the dominance of modernism and minimalism, such as those affiliated with Pattern & Decoration. Less Is a Bore includes experiments in patterning by Sanford Biggers, Jasper Johns and Miriam Schapiro; the transgressive sculpture and furniture of Lucas Samaras and Ettore Sottsass; and the installations of Polly Apfelbaum, Nathalie du Pasquier and Virgil Marti. Also included are works by Roger Brown, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Jeffrey Gibson, Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Ellen Lesperance, Sol LeWitt, Howardena Pindell, Lari Pittman, Pae White and Betty Woodman, among others.

Read the introductory essay “Maximalism Now” by curator Jenelle Porter