Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present its third solo exhibition by Chicago based artist Judy Ledgerwood. Activating the space between the painting and the viewer, Ledgerwood’s patterns are composed of shapes proportioned to the body of the viewer, and various color interactions within those shapes. This relationship between the pictorial and the physical space is often linked to Color Field painting, a style of abstract painting in which large fields of solid color create a flat picture plane, emphasizing process and consistency of form.
Chromatic Patterns for Chicago are new wall paintings, with a repeating pattern in rich manganese blue, metallic copper, and fluorescent pink on one wall, and ultramarine blue, fluorescent red, and burnt umber paint on the other. With their drooping, irregular edges, the wall paintings appear to hang on a fictional support against the wall while simultaneously mimicking the wall itself. Ledgerwood’s bright hues are selected to contrast the frigid Chicago climate and respond to the physical space in the front gallery, which she views as a theatrical box with a screen-like window facing the street.
The Blob Paintings displayed in the middle gallery space are new works for Ledgerwood as well. Composed of two-part urethane foam, color is added to a mixture and then to an activator which hardens the work. Once the activator is added, Ledgerwood has no more than 60 seconds to make the painting. These works, which are performative in their making, differ from Ledgerwood’s more controlled practices of the past. Just as the two-dimensional works engage the space with color interaction, the blob paintings physically reach toward the viewer, and are more akin to sculpture. More literal and more immediate, these paintings use alternate means to articulate the very same ideas as Ledgerwood’s two-dimensional wall paintings.
Ledgerwood is the recipient of a 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 represented in public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago among others. She received her BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.
Review of Chromatic Paintings for Chicago and Blob Paintings at Rhona Hoffman Gallery.