Skip to main content
  • Source: ARTSY
  • Author: Jordan Huelskamp
  • Date: MAY 15, 2024
  • Format: DIGITAL

9 Contemporary Artists Mastering Maximalist Patterns

Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
Violet Dance, 2021
Baldwin Contemporary

Patterns are a vital part of human creativity. The ancient Maya peoples developed elaborate symbols representing the natural world and cosmos, while indigenous Polynesian cultures administer tattoos during important rites of passage. Intricate geometric patterns are an essential part of Islamic art and architecture, channeling the divine through sacred repetition.

More recently, in the 20th century, the Bauhaus movement explored the functional application of simple decorative patterns that could be manufactured in an industrial setting, while Op Art harnessed repeating patterns to explore our visual perception with optical illusions.

Below, we highlight contemporary artists building on thousands of years of tradition, harnessing patterns as far-flung as houndstooth, polka dots, animal print, ikat, tie-dye, florals, batik, and everything in between.


Tunji Adeniyi-Jones

B. 1992, London. Lives and works in New York.

Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
Poetic Feet, 2022
Baldwin Contemporary


Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
Sunrisers, 2022
David Zwirner
Price on request

Yale MFA graduate Tunji Adeniyi-Jones is known for sensual paintings and prints that feature brightly hued patterns of swirling bodies, flora, and fauna that draw from his Yoruba heritage and diasporic experiences. Adeniyi-Jones’s recent installation as part of the Nigerian pavilion in the 2024 Venice Biennale drew widespread acclaim: The artist mounted a massive, orange-hued canvas painting on the ceiling of a historic Venetian palazzo, referencing Italian fresco tradition.