George Woodman at the Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Boulder, CO, Fall 1981: From the Archives...

L to R: George Woodman’s exhibition brochure, Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Boulder, CO, Fall 1981 / Reviews in the Daily Camera and Rocky Mountain News, October 1981.

George Woodman’s exhibition at the Boulder Center for the Visual Arts in the fall of 1981 was a survey of his various approaches to pattern over 15 years, ranging from his complex tessellations, to the use of pattern to unify a surface, to a rigorous examination of the decorative, and finally to the all-encompassing perceptual experience of his room-scaled paper tile installations.

In articles about the exhibition in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Rocky Mountain News, George discussed the influences of teaching, his background in philosophy, his life in Italy and Colorado, and his love of classical music: “I would like to feel my work aspires to characteristics of the music of Debussy or Chopin…an interest in color, chromaticism, and in games involving harmonics. I’m not interested in dramatic focus, but in movement from one point to another. I like the uncentered nature of patterns, like tablecloths or wallpaper; it just goes on.”

George approached pattern with his signature discipline and seriousness of purpose, but also with wit and good humor. As he described his larger project in the exhibition essay:

“Unlikely as [pattern] may seem as a subject for painting, we should not forget that it is perhaps that element most pervasive through the visual arts. After all, pattern is only one special kind of arrangement, which in turn seems to be the underlying drive in all our aesthetic efforts, spontaneous or not…On one hand, the source of all art, arrangement, is based on the fundamental nature of space, the structure of the nervous system and our needs to locate, relate, find and use. Remember this the next time you have to straighten out a closet.”

To read the articles in full, click on the image above for a complete gallery view and details.