In More Depth
A backdrop? An ornament? A working foil?
THE CLAMOR OF ORNAMENT Katie Fontana, Plain English Co-founder and Creative Director suggests “I have always felt that our designs provide the backdrop. When we started the company, my goal was that the cupboards should lie back and not be centre stage. I couldn’t understand the ethos of all the other kitchen designs on the market then. They were fussy and overly decorative and seemed to say ‘look at me!’ We wanted to be understated, functional, beautiful, providing a working backdrop to the character and style of the owner via the introduction of their choice of other furniture and decoration in the room.”
At this New York City exhibition, designed by Studio Frith, The Drawing Center explored the definition of ornament as embellishment, surface or structural, that can be lifted from its context, reworked, reproduced, and redeployed. And Plain English paints (normally reserved for our projects) were the working foil for the ornamented pieces, providing the colourful backgrounds on which the ornaments hung. As suggested in the review by Ariella Budick in the Financial Times, “we decorate to soar and to survive”.
The Clamor Of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present
The Drawing Center NYC
15 June – 18 September 2022
Photography by Daniel Terna