Pattern: Follow the Rules

October 18, 2013–February 2, 2014

This exhibition redefines and reimagines the term pattern. To create their work, each of the artists presented begin with a system or set of rules (mechanical, technological, digital or otherwise) and, through repetitive action, create objects that are rigorous in their optical repetition. The artists generated forms using a framework more like a mathematical or computer pattern rather than a decorative visual process. And yet, the resulting compositions are highly decorative, visually dynamic and spectacularly patterned in the traditional sense of the term.

The implied limits of artistic choice in these works do not, however, hinder creativity. Rather, the reliance on a predetermined system of production creates a sense of potential endlessness, posing questions about the distance between reality and visual illusion. Regardless of the mode of making or the content within the form, each work in the exhibition asks us to reevaluate the way we see and experience the spaces we are in, the objects we confront and the relationship between vision and perception.

Artists featured in this exhibition include: Walead Beshty (b. 1976, London), Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami), Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968, Pasadena, California), Zilvinas Kempinas (b. 1969, Plunge, Lithuania), Jason Middlebrook (b. 1966, Jackson, Michigan), Mai-Thu Perret (b. 1976, Geneva, Switzerland), Ara Peterson (b. 1973, Boston, Massachusetts), Hugh Scott-Douglas (b. 1988, Cambridge, United Kingdom), Alyson Shotz (b. 1964, Glendale, Arizona), Rudolf Singel (b. 1956, Merano, Italy), Tam Van Tran (b. 1966, Kon Tum, Vietnam), Garth Weiser (b. 1979, Helena, Montana), Pae White (b. 1963, Pasadena, California) and Christopher Wool (b. 1955, Boston, Massachusetts).

MCA Denver would like to thank our Presenting sponsor Etkin Johnson Group for helping to underwrite this exhibition.

Pattern: Follow the Rules is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Generous support is provided by MSU Federal Credit Union. Additional funding is provided by the Broad MSU’s general exhibitions fund.

Additional support has been provided by the MCA Denver Director's Visions Society and the Colorado Creative Industries. MCA Denver also thanks the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.


Fall opening celebration October 7. (Get Tickets)

Exhibitions opening October 8:

Kim Dickey (More)
Nathan Carter (More)
Bodacioussss (More)


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