Judy Ledgerwood discusses her exhibition Far From the Tree in the context of the 40th anniversary of the Pattern and Decoration movement.
CHICAGO – It has been forty years since artists Valerie Jaudon and Joyce Kozloff published Art Hysterical Notions of Progress and Culture. They made clear how language had been used to maintain power structures and create arbitrary aesthetic hierarchies in the art world, and their statement became the manifesto of the Pattern and Decoration movement. To commemorate this, I interviewed Chicago-based painter Judy Ledgerwood in her office on the bucolic campus of Northwestern University, where she has taught for 22 years. Ledgerwood has been working with issues like pattern, domesticity, craft, and folk tradition in her studio for years. Raised in a family of quilters, she grew up immersed in an awareness of the deep layers of meaning intrinsic to that and other heritage art forms. Ledgerwood’s recently-opened solo show, Far From the Tree, at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, mobilizes pattern as both form and subject matter.
To start our conversation, I asked Ledgerwood to flip through a copy of Art Hysterical Notions of Progress and Culture, and I turned on the recorder.
by Phillip Barcio