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CFP: Decoration Reconsidered (SECAC 2014)

Within canonical discourses of 20th century art, the term “decoration” has long been associated with degeneration, femininity, commercialism and pleasure “signifiers” of inferiority and otherness in relation to the definition of “good art.” Adolf Loos’ notorious text “Ornament and Crime” (1905), has been followed by generations of artists and critics holding similar views of decoration and the decorative quality as a problem, if not a travesty, for self-respected artists. The political bias behind such perceptions has been deconstructed in past decades by such artistic groups as the “Pattern and Decoration” of the 1970s and in more recent scholarship. However, the bias against decoration continues to dominate perceptions of appropriateness and quality within art historical research as well as in contemporary art practice. This session invites papers reflecting on the significance of decoration for modern and contemporary art, as well as the complex discursive space it occupies within various traditions of art history. Deadline for submission: April 20, 2014 Information about SECAC, abstract guidelines and submission procedures available at: