Tracy Williams, Ltd. is pleased to present April Showers, an exhibition of painting and ceramics by Judy Ledgerwood. This is Ledgerwood’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, comprising eight large paintings in the main gallery and a wall painting filling the north gallery alongside painted ceramics made in collaboration with Chicago-based artist, Nancy Gardner. With this exhibition, Ledgerwood furthers her investigation into the role of color in the hierarchy of form and meaning, and the effects of scale and texture on the visual plane.
A motif of four adjoining circular forms, simultaneously reminiscent of a human body, a crucifix, a mandala, and a flower, echoes throughout Ledgerwood’s oeuvre. Ledgerwood developed this motif as a rhythmically cohesive feature that also defines the spatial proportions of the canvas. The unmistakably organic form, first appearing in 2002 and now a fixture in Ledgerwood’s work, is often weighted in the lowest circle, particularly in this latest series, where saturated colors seem to languidly give to gravity and flow from fissures, falling and dripping off the lower edges of the canvases. The center of each painting is intentionally aligned with the level of the heart of a viewer, offering a direct and physical exchange between the artist and her audience.
In the north gallery, Ledgerwood creates an immersive environment with a wall-painting and ceramics, tessellating the motif in a dizzying array of color, injecting painterly abstraction with elements from so-called “craft traditions”. Corners camouflage as the lattice creates an optical continuation, redefining the architectural constraints according to light and perspective. The ceramics further enhance the physical aspect of Ledgerwood’s practice as she responds to clay shapes created by Nancy Gardner that in turn become three-dimensional painting surfaces.
April Showers opens on Friday, May 6, 2011 during New York Gallery Week. Tracy Williams, Ltd. will host a conversation between Judy Ledgerwood and Philip Vanderhyden on May 7, 2011, followed by a book-signing of Ledgerwood’s eponymous monograph:
Judy Ledgerwood Edited by Christa Häusler, Wolfgang Häusler, conversation with the artist by Susanne Ghez, texts by Philip Vanderhyden, Roland Wäspe. Hatje Cantz. 2009. 160 pp., 102 color ills.
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 has been collected by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among others. She is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.