Judy Ledgerwood

01.07.2023 - 02.11.2023



Why should anyone be afraid of red, yellow and blue?

– Barnett Newman

Denny Gallery is pleased to announce Sunny, a solo exhibition of new work by painter Judy Ledgerwood, which will be on view at the gallery’s New York location from January 7 to February 11, 2023. 

Ledgerwood is a renowned painter whose work has featured in numerous international exhibitions and 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, the Hammer Museum Los Angeles and the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen Switzerland, among others.

Ledgerwood has often employed the signifying aspects of color as a primary factor in her work, and a desire for a shared language of color drives this exhibition. In the last few years, the artist has felt the world becoming increasingly fragmented which leaves less room for group cohesion. The feeling of growing disconnect experienced through politics and culture is oppressive and gloomy.  The title “Sunny” is born from a dual ideology of seeking brightness through the bleak and investigating how we bond through what we share, for the sun is an unchanging force that all experience. It is there for everyone.  Moving further into the quest for connection and coherence, Ledgerwood has selected a color palette for this body of work that any child could name. The syntax of red, yellow and blue interspersed with black and white, recalls the legacy of the Bauhaus which shares with Ledgerwood a concern for understanding visual literacy through color and eliminating the distinction between fine art and craft without compromising the subjectivity of the viewer.

Despite the perceived simplicity of the color palette and determination of equality in purpose, the work is groundbreaking and full of subtext. It confronts the viewer using bright colors as a way to find common ground while unsettling the viewing experience in how the colors are combined with pattern and texture. Using her familiar visual lexicon of the quatrefoil with its equal parts of four layered circles, set within striking grid or diamond formations, she looks to an aesthetic language that people associate with her work and practice. Her selected shapes are embedded with meaning relating to gender and myth: “The chevron pattern is said to represent a woman’s opened thighs and readiness for conception. A triangle pointing upward represents a strong foundation or stability, rooted to the ground through a solid base. Triangles that point up symbolize male energy. The downward-pointing triangle represents female energy. Quatrefoils look like flowers which makes the shape both problematic and appealing because the shape is so weighted with multiple cultural meanings.” 1

Ledgerwood is notably linked to the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s and 80s and its relationship to traditional female and non-Western art practices, crafts and mythical symbols. Her focus on these female motifs and ciphers as a repeat vocabulary gives her the foundations to test and explore the medium of paint in depth, thickness and fluidity. Each painting follows the modern form of the grid which Ledgerwood looks to disrupt through gesture, materiality of paint and mark-making, as well as her use of color. The works become simultaneously illusion and anti-illusion, where the eye is tricked by the movement of mark to color; a tension arises as space is manipulated through motif and interstice. This continues through her decision to work over the edges to consume even more of the surrounding space. To address this expanse both in and outside of the paintings and into the sphere of sculpture through her ceramic work, brings into focus two other key elements within Ledgerwood’s work and practice: space and its relationship to flatness. Her exploration of surface, and its dimensionality through applied paint, allow the works to starkly encounter their surroundings. They interact and start to manipulate the relationship between viewer, artwork and space. “…the pattern throughout the field advances. Colors flood off walls, washing over neighboring walls and viewers. One becomes a passive element within an immersive experience that terminates in the isolated experience of viewing an individual work.” 2

The few elements Ledgerwood employs to engage become significant in addressing both an academic investigation in paint and ideological ambitions to create a vocabulary in painting that resonates across different social and cultural factions. Ledgerwood heralds color as the conduit. Its cohesive functions open a door for equity in viewing but also pose challenges in subjective opinion. We all have a right to color and our own unique viewership and understanding of what it stands for. 

“When it rains, it rains on everyone; for the sun it’s the same.”

– Judy Ledgerwood


1.  Judy Ledgerwood, 2022

2. Philip Vanderhyden, ‘Who’s Afraid of Flowers?’, from Judy Ledgerwood, ed. Christa Herausgeber and Wolfgang Häusler, (Hatje Cantz, 2009)      p. 139.




              – Barnett Newman
丹尼畫廊榮幸地宣布,將於2023年1月7日至2月11日在紐約畫廊為藝術家Judy Ledgerwood的新作品舉辦個展《明媚》。
      作為一名被廣為人知的畫家,Ledgerwood的作品曾在眾多國際展覽中展出,並多次被著名藝術機構收藏。其中伊利諾伊州芝加哥藝術學院、紐約大都會藝術博物館、洛杉磯當代藝術博物館、密爾沃基藝術博物館、芝加哥當代藝術博物館、洛杉磯哈默博物館和瑞士聖加侖藝術博物館等知名專業國際藝術機構都珍藏了Judy Ledgerwood的作品。
      Ledgerwood經常將色彩的象徵作為她藝術創作的主要因素,由於對與分享色彩和其表達力的極度渴望進而推動了此次展覽。在過去的幾年裡,藝術家感到這個世界變得越來越分散,凝聚力顯得越來越單薄。由於政治和文化經歷的日益脫節而給社會帶來的反應令人愈加壓抑和沮喪。 《明媚》作為此次展覽的標題源於一種對立的意識形態,即在暗淡中尋求明媚的陽光,並研究如何通過我們所能分享的東西聯繫在一起,因為太陽是一種更古不變的強大力量,所有人都受益於其中。展覽也是為每一個不同的人準備的。為了進一步探索聯繫和連貫性,Ledgerwood為這個作品選擇了一個任何孩子都能說出名字的調色板。紅色、黃色和藍色的畫佈點綴著黑色和白色,讓人想起包豪斯的著作,他與Ledgerwood共同關注通過顏色來理解視覺文學,並在不損害觀眾主體性的情況下消除美術和工藝之間的區別。
      儘管人們認為色調很簡單明了,但總的來說這些作品具有絕對的開創性並充滿了深意。使用明亮直白的顏色給此次展覽帶來了一個切入點,同時嘗試在顏色與圖案和紋理相結合的部分擾亂觀眾的視覺體驗。 Ledgerwood使用她慣用的四葉形作為視覺詞彙,四層圓圈的相等部分,設置在醒目的網格或菱形結構中,她尋找一種人們與她的工作和實踐相關的美學語言。選擇的形狀蘊含著與性別和神話相關的意義:“人字形圖案據說代表女性張開的大腿和受孕的準備。一個向上的三角形代表堅實的基礎或穩定性,通過堅實的基礎紮根於地面。向上的三角形象則徵著男性的能量。向下的三角形代表女性能量。 四葉形看起來像花朵,這使得這種形狀既有問題又很有吸引力,因為它的形狀承載了多重文化意義。”1
      Ledgerwood與20世紀70年代和80年代的圖案和裝飾運動及其與傳統女性和非西方藝術實踐、工藝和神話符號有著密切的聯繫。她專注於這些女性圖案和密碼作為重複的詞彙,這為她測試和探索繪畫介質的深度、厚度和流動性奠定了基礎。每幅畫都遵循網格的現代形式,Ledgerwood試圖通過視覺動態、顏料的物質性和標記製作、以及她對顏色的靈巧使用來破壞網格原有的固定視覺感受。這些畫同時成為幻覺和反幻覺,眼睛被顏色的運用,融合和運動所欺騙; 當空間通過主題和間隙被操縱時,就會產生一種強大的張力。這延續到她決定在畫布的邊緣持續作畫,以消耗更多的周圍空間。為了解決畫作內外的廣闊空間,Ledgerwood的作品和實踐中還有兩個關鍵元素: 立體空間及其與平面的關係。她通過塗漆探索表面及其深度維度,讓畫作與周圍環境形成鮮明對比。作為一個整體,它們相互作用並開始操縱觀眾、藝術品和牆面空間之間的關係。 “……整個領域的格局都在進步。 顏色從牆壁上湧出,沖刷著鄰近的牆壁和觀眾。 觀眾作為前來欣賞藝術作品的個體反倒成為沈浸式體驗中的一個被動元素,這種體驗終止了觀看作品的孤立感和分離感。” 2
      Ledgerwood所採用的少數幾個元素在解決繪畫學術研究和創造繪畫詞彙的意識形態野心方面具有重要意義,這種詞彙在不同的社會和文化派別之間產生共鳴。 Ledgerwood 將顏色看作橋樑和媒介。它的凝聚力為觀看的公平性溫柔地打開了一扇門,但同時也對主觀意見發起了挑戰。我們都有權利使用顏色,以及每個觀眾都有權利對藝術品提出自己獨特的觀看方式和理解。

– Judy Ledgerwood


1.  Judy Ledgerwood, 2022

2. Philip Vanderhyden, ‘Who’s Afraid of Flowers?’, from Judy Ledgerwood, ed. Christa Herausgeber and Wolfgang Häusler, (Hatje Cantz, 2009)      p. 139.



01.07.23 Opening Reception | 2-4 pm |

Please join us for an opening reception for the artist from 2-4pm on Saturday, January 7th.

February 09, 2023 Events

John Yau Reviewed Judy Ledgerwood’s Sunny in Hyperallergic

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.

February 07, 2023 Events

Judy Ledgerwood: Sunny Reviewed in the FAD Magazine

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.

February 01, 2023 Artists, Events, Press

Judy Ledgerwood: Sunny in The Brooklyn Rail

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.

January 14, 2023 Artists, Events, Press

Denny Gallery, NY, Now Presenting Judy Ledgerwood’s Exhibition ‘Sunny’

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.

Read on Art Daily.


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