The Path to Paradise: Sometimes More Is More: Militant Ornamentalism

What do you see when you squeeze your eyes shut? Colors, shapes and patterns! And Militant Ornamentalists seek to bring that glorious neurological froth right to the surface.
—Judith Schaechter

Sometimes More Is More: Militant Ornamentalism

Schaechter’s lavish and over-the-top patterns link a rich vocabulary of transcultural and transhistorical designs with her sophisticated understanding of microbiology and natural systems. While influenced by her microbiologist father, her fantastical galaxies and pseudo-earthbound universes in ever-changing states of growth and kaleidoscopic color are all born of her imagination.

Schaechter’s insistence upon the seduction of color and pattern is her own kind of rebellion against the anti-ornamentation of twentieth-century modernism, and the traditional association between the feminine realm and decorative pattern. She identifies herself as a Militant Ornamentalist,* which she characterizes as an insistence upon ornament and decoration being “as much a path to enlightenment as any other mode of art making. Decoration and ornament are not there just to prettify a surface. They are indicators that the object they adorn is worthy of your attention, care and love. What makes a Militant Ornamentalist militant is their refusal to apologize; ‘sometimes more is more’ and they celebrate that fact with pride.”

*Schaechter credits the invention of the term Militant Ornamentalism to her friend, Philadelphia artist Adam Wallacavage.

Previous Section Next Section