Pamela Gaunt tracks the complex relationship between visual art and the decorative in the twentieth century. She makes a claim for the ongoing interest in decorative practices within visual art in the wake of their marginalization by modernist art and theory. She examines the exclusion of the decorative within modernism before examining its resurgence in postmodernism and contemporary art and theory. The book touches on architectural references in this period before discussing case studies of a number of post-modern and contemporary artists whose work gained notice in the 1980s including Trockel, Samaras and Taafe, and several artists from the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s. The final chapter notes the significance of the late works of Matisse. Selected works are analyzed for relevance to contemporary art practices that employ a decorative approach before investigating the significance of decoration in the work of selected Australian and international artists. Louise Paramor, Simon Periton and Doh-Ho Suh whose work evidences a sustained engagement with ornament suggests that the decorative has once again become a force in experimental visual art.