Art History Lab

10 Famous Pattern Artists and Their Masterpieces

Welcome to the world of patterns in art. Patterns have remained an essential part of art throughout human history.

They add interest, beauty, and meaning to pieces of work. What are patterns?

Patterns are repetitive designs or decorative elements that form a significant part of art. They are made up of recurring shapes, lines, and colors that create an artistic composition.

Patterns are usually aesthetically pleasing and intriguing. They can be of different forms such as geometric, organic, or abstract.

Patterns may also be found in nature, objects, and architecture.

Function of patterns in art

The use of patterns in art serves various purposes. They can show repetitive action, relay information, or create illusions.

Patterns highlight the significant and recurring features of objects. They attract the viewer’s attention and make the artwork appear visually exciting.

Patterns also communicate a cultural or historical context as seen in traditional designs.

Benefits of using patterns in art

Patterns serve essential functions in art. First, they increase visual interest and create a sense of harmony.

Second, they provide a sense of balance that draws the viewer’s attention to particular aspects of the artwork. Third, they enhance unity and help to create a cohesive visual experience of the artwork.

Finally, patterns can help to convey a message or an idea in an explicit or implicit manner.

Different types of patterns in artwork

Artistic patterns can be categorized based on their styles, forms, or themes. The following subsections highlight the different types of patterns in art.

Natural or Organic Patterns

Natural or organic patterns are found abundantly in the natural world. They are irregular shapes created by organic shapes that vary in color and texture.

Examples of natural patterns include the spiral patterns found on seashells, the veins on leaves, or the patterns on animal skins. Artists often borrow from these natural patterns to create organic designs in their work.

Man-Made Patterns

Man-made patterns are created by humans and give an element of structure to art. These patterns exhibit a sense of geometric precision and are characterized by repetitive, harmonized shapes.

For instance, the chessboard pattern is a familiar example of man-made patterns. Designers can also use man-made patterns to convey a sense of order or systemization to their work.

Irregular Patterns

Irregular patterns are characterized by their ability to disrupt familiar patterns. They feature abstract newness in their presentation and purpose.

Examples of irregular patterns are the chaotic lines and shapes that compose abstract art, which has no definite form but plays with symmetry, asymmetry, or both. Irregular patterns are intended to challenge the viewer’s perceptions and disrupt expectations.


In summary, patterns play a crucial role in art by adding balance, interest, and meaning to pieces of work. Patterns can be natural or organic, created by man, or represent irregularities that break from traditional patterns.

Understanding the different types of patterns and their roles in art is essential in creating successful compositions. With this knowledge, you can enhance your appreciation and understanding of art pieces,whether ancient or modern.

In this article, we explore the top 10 famous pattern artists and their significant artworks. These artists have made remarkable contributions to the art world, particularly in their use of patterns within their compositions.

Owen Jones – Plans, Elevations, and Details of the Alhambra

Owen Jones was an English architect and designer who documented the beautiful patterns and designs found in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. His book, Plans, Elevations, and Details of the Alhambra, was published in the 1800s and showcased the intricate geometric patterns found in the Palace’s architecture.

Jones’s work in documenting the patterns of the Alhambra had a profound impact on design in the Victorian era.

William Morris – La Belle Iseult

William Morris was a textile designer and artist whose work was an essential part of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. His artwork La Belle Iseult, featuring a tapestry with floral patterns and gentle curves, is an excellent example of Morris’s work.

Morris had a deep appreciation for traditional craft skills and often combined them with his designs to create exquisite and unique artworks.

Gustav Klimt – Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter whose work was characterized by ornate, intricate patterns and the use of gold leaf. His famous painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1, features an intricate and patterned background that adds depth and opulence to the painting.

M.C. Escher – Day and Night

M.C. Escher is known for his mathematical precision in creating patterns and designs that are both captivating and mind-bending. His artwork Day and Night is a classic example of his style and features a complex and mesmerizing tessellated image of flying birds.

Yayoi Kusama – Marilyn

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist whose work is best known for its repetition of patterns, particularly polka dots. Her artwork Marilyn features a repeated image of Marilyn Monroe’s face, with each image repeated in a grid-like pattern.

Anni Albers – Six Prayers

Anni Albers was a weaver and textile artist who specialized in creating intricate and patterned designs. Her artwork Six Prayers, created in memory of her Jewish faith, features six woven patterns that represent the prayer shawl worn by Jewish men during prayer.

Andy Warhol – Marilyn

Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop art movement, and his work often featured repetitive silkscreen prints. His artwork Marilyn features the repeated image of Marilyn Monroe, each image featuring a different color-blocked background.

Andrew Goldsworthy – Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole

Andrew Goldsworthy is a British artist known for his use of natural materials and patterns found in the natural world. His artwork Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole features a seemingly random arrangement of leaves around a hole in the ground, creating a natural pattern that changes as the leaves decay.

Damien Hirst – Faithless, Kaleidoscope Series

Damien Hirst is an English contemporary artist who often utilizes natural motifs in his work. His artwork Faithless, from the Kaleidoscope Series, features a collection of real butterflies arranged in a geometric pattern, with each butterfly painted in bright primary colors.

Sarah Morris – Fermilab 2

Sarah Morris is an American artist known for creating complex geometric compositions that explore the relationships between angles, colors, and patterns. Her artwork Fermilab 2 features a complex pattern of interlocking shapes and colors, creating a visually captivating and precise image.

In conclusion, these ten artists and their artworks exemplify the significance of patterns in the world of art. From the intricate geometric patterns of Owen Jones to the bold and inventive works of Sarah Morris, these artists have demonstrated how patterns can create unique, visually stunning works of art that convey meaning and emotion.

In this article, we explored the importance of patterns in art, the different types of patterns, and the top 10 pattern artists and their significant contributions to the art world. Patterns serve various functions in art, including conveying a message, creating harmony, and enhancing unity.

The featured artworks demonstrated how pattern artists have utilized different styles, forms, and themes to create breathtaking compositions. The use of patterns in artwork is an essential aspect of the creative process, and studying the work of these artists can inspire new techniques and approaches to art creation.

Thus, appreciating and understanding the different types of patterns in art can elevate the creativity of artists, designers, and art enthusiasts alike.

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