Monday, September 28, 2009

Burchfield Wallpaper, OMG!

The Hammer Museum's Rober Gober-curated Charles Burchfield show keeps looking more and more fantastic. One room of "Heat Waves in a Swamp" (opening Oct. 4) will be papered in Burchfield's "Sunflowers" wallpaper, designed in 1921 for the M. H. Birge & Sons wallpaper factory of Buffalo, New York. The advance photos on the Hammer blog are amazing.
Burchfield considered the wallpaper designing hack work, so you can't compare it directly to Warhol's "Cows" wallpaper, or to the ongoing series of artists painting the walls of the Hammer's entrance stairway. Yet the sheer horror vacui of Burchfield's never-ending posies makes Andy's magenta cows look a little tame. Did Buffalo homemakers actually paper their living rooms with this stuff? Could anyone look at it and remain normal?

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