About 10 years ago, I attended a lecture by Judy Ledgerwood in which she talked about her current paintings – pale abstractions that played with color and optics. Fast forward to the present, and Ledgerwood’s primary concerns as an artist remain. Her work over the last couple of years uses strong, flat colors to deliver a visual punch and play with certain color combinations that produce optical illusion and theatrics. But there is also a playful side to her work, and looking at a Ledgerwood painting for me conjures up remembrances of the circus, the Moroccan Bazaar, and quilts. Her flat style lends itself to textile design, and sometimes, I wonder if her projects don’t begin with a swatch of fabric.
These paintings remind me why I like painting so much. They are immediate and unique representations of the hand and person that respond to outside stimulus. Painting is such a straight forward process that remains a true form of expression. I appreciate Ledgerwood’s honesty of hand in the work. For more on Ledgerwood’s conceptual approach, this article by I Call it Oranges is very good. You can find the work at the Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.
Images courtesy of Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.