Born 1959 in Indiana. Lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Judy Ledgerwood is a painter whose canvases and wall painting installations confront the history of abstract painting. Her work considers domestically created work made by women across many cultures. Her compositions frequently consist of motifs derived from symbolic shapes associated with Paleo and Neolithic Goddess cultures throughout Europe. The broader vocabulary of shapes is comprised of circles, quatrefoils, and a seed-like shapes organized within triangles and chevrons that she perceives as a womanly ciphers symbolic of feminine power.
Ledgerwood has held numerous solo exhibitions including The Graham Foundation (2014) and Smart Museum of Art, Chicago (2013-15), IL. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions surrounding the Pattern and Decoration movement including Surface/Depth at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City (2018), Fringe at Denny Dimin Gallery, New York City (2021), and The Thread is Not Straight at Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong (2022). In 2015, Ledgerwood was commissioned by the United States Embassy in Vientiane, Laos to create a site-specific painting.
Judy Ledgerwood received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently the Alice Welsh Skilling Professor of Art at Northwestern University. Her work is included in prominent public collections including 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.
Portrait by: Daniel Krieger
What distinguishes Ledgerwood’s work from the earlier generation of women artists working in the domain of Pattern and Decoration is its bluntness and humor.
One or two paintings in the show echo its sole sculpture with impasto oil enthusiastically accenting the picture plane. Still more command physicality by mimicking tapestry — clever white gaps at the top create a rudimentary trompe l’oeil where flat works look like hanging cloths.
In Judy Ledgerwood’s exhibition Sunny, the artist has bold intentions. She began working on the paintings last January when she was searching for color during many gray days.
Denny Gallery recently opened ‘Sunny’, a solo exhibition of new work by painter Judy Ledgerwood. On view at the gallery’s New York location since January 7, it will continue to February 11, 2023.
As the city reopened, the art world saw legacy-changing donations for the Met and the Brooklyn Museum, and a seismic shift in Tribeca’s gallery scene.
A more intimate and entirely irresistible group show—cleverly titled “Fringe”—is on view at the Denny Dimin gallery through Aug. 20.
Judy Ledgerwood discusses her exhibition Far From the Tree in the context of the 40th anniversary of the Pattern and Decoration movement.
Judy Ledgerwood Reviewed n New York Times
In Judy Ledgerwood’s paintings the viewer encounters elements of humor, instances of surprise, celebrations of female sexuality, forms of vulgar tactility, and intense and unpredictable combinations of color.
Jumping across historical periods and registering time in the form of its passing effects, Ledgerwood conjured an alluringly immersive, sensorial experience, and took a giant step away from her more typical engagement with the white-box gallery.