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In the studio


In a painting career spanning four decades, Judy Ledgerwood has confronted and expanded the history of abstract painting by decentering perceptions of its neutrality and prioritizing visual engagement and pleasure. Drawing upon rich and diverse sources from the realms of both fine art and popular culture, Ledgerwood’s optically bold, large-scale canvases engage viewers in active looking and challenge conventional notions of beauty and taste. She explores light, color, and structure with great specificity, and early on in her career, she embraced traditionally feminine colors like pastels, pinks, and fluorescent hues to undermine the male-dominated milieu of abstract painting. Through repetitive circular shapes and her signature quatrefoil pattern, Ledgerwood bends and relaxes the grid, bringing influences from the Pattern & Decoration movement, quilting, and textiles into the arena of her paintings. Ledgerwood’s work includes an exploration of architectural spaces through her creation of monumental wall paintings and environmental installations, which have been exhibited at The Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among other venues.