From the ARchives

George Woodman’s paper tile installation at Rochester Institute of Technology, December 1984: From the Archives…

All images related to George Woodman, The Rochester Carpet, 1984, Bevier Gallery, RIT, Rochester, NY. L to R: Installation view with the artist / Installation view / Students sorting patterns before painting / Pages from the artist's instructions / article in the Times-Union, Rochester, NY, December 6, 1984.

George Woodman’s “The Rochester Carpet” (1984) was a sprawling, richly patterned mosaic conceived of specifically for the floor of the Bevier Gallery at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York.

Woodman worked with fine art students to transform 1800 feet of chipboard into hexagonal tiles, painted according to one of his increasingly complex systems of color and pattern, which could be executed according to his instructions.

This site-specific, ephemeral artwork was born of Woodman’s practice in the 1960s and 1970s as an abstract painter with an affinity for Minimalism, which itself was inspired by Islamic tiling and Cosmati floor mosaics. “A great deal of the thrust was toward minimalist painting, and one of the problems with minimalist painting is that there’s not much there…It can be pretty boring,” he told a journalist from the Times-Union in December 1984, who in turn elaborated on the infusion of color in his work, declaring: “The result is a pulsating sheet of color with an almost topographic feeling. It’s a work to be appreciated from above and already it is attracting a steady audience of kibitzers along the balcony.”

Click on the image above for a complete gallery view and details.