Rhona Hoffman Gallery opens its new location at 1711 West Chicago Avenue with Judy Ledgerwood’s fifth solo gallery exhibition "Far From the Tree." Featuring bright colors and repetitive patterns inspired by quilting and other decorative arts, Ledgerwood subverts the viewer’s expectations of abstract painting with unexpected color combinations and tactile globs of paint that bleed from one section into another. Her patterns are not tidy, they have a visceral, organic life, juxtaposing the orderliness of repetition with the chaos of bright colors and passionate lines that don’t quite follow an expected script. Ledgerwood uses motifs derived from symbolic shapes associated with Paleo and Neolithic Goddess art: circles, quatrefoils, and a seed-like shape organized within triangles and chevrons that she feels are symbolic of feminine power. Her blowsy flowers and labia-like chevrons, combined with her title choices, celebrate feminine power and the beauty of female anatomy, often with sly humor. Her provocative shapes and colors create a distinctively feminist oeuvre.
Based in Chicago, Ledgerwood (b. 1959, Indiana) got her BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has held solo exhibitions all over the world, has received multiple awards, and has work in a number of major museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, 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. Ledgerwood created a monumental site-specific painting for the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos. In May 2018, she becomes the first Chicago-based artist to create an installation for the Art Institute's Bluhm Family Terrace. Judy Ledgerwood is the Alice Welsh Skilling Professor of Art at Northwestern University.