NEW YORK, NY.- Tracy Williams Ltd.
is presenting Judy Ledgerwoods Pussy Poppin Power, in her fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Mid sized to monumental in scale, this presentation of new work is exuberant, richly layered and fiercely colorful. Ledgerwoods canvases both explore and confront the history of abstraction, as well as artistic domestic work created by women across generations.
As an abstract painter, Ledgerwood is indebted to the vocabularies of Modernism, in particular to the grid as Rosalind Krauss has defined it in October magazine, 1979.
Yet at the same time, the artist assiduously challenges this lexis. In contrast to the stability offered by the aforementioned Modernist grid, that runs parallel and perpendicular to the edges of a canvas, Ledgerwood upends the structure with diagonal shapes that activate the surface.
In a further disruption of the architecture of traditional painting, the overall outline of these pieces give the impression of something hanging, referencing a tapestry or quilt, aligning directly with what has been considered womens work.
While Ledgerwood has often used a quatrefoil, circles and seed-like shapes, which she perceives as womanly ciphers, the more recent recurring triangles and chevrons may also appear symbolic of the female, and are typical emblems found in Paleo and Neolithic Goddess cultures in Europe.
Color ties these contextual elements together and is the first, as well as the most subjective experience presented to the viewer. Each pigment contains its own material plasticity, and Ledgerwood revels in the attempt to exploit these unique qualities. The combination of hot hues and reflective patterns result in a striking bravura of canvases that are truly exceptional.
Born in 1959, Judy Ledgerwood lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ledgerwood is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. She has held several solo exhibitions worldwide, most recently at Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX (2015); Hausler Contemporary, Austria (2015); The Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL (2014); Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL (2014); Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (2013); among many others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award, an Artadia Award, a Tiffany Award in the Visual Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and an Illinois Art Council Award. Her work is included in several public collections including at the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen Switzerland, among others. In 2015, Ledgerwood was commissioned by the Embassy of the United States in Vientiane, Laos to create a monumental site-specific painting. Her major monograph, Judy Ledgerwood, published by Hatje Cantz in 2012 is available for purchase at the gallery.