Jan 14th 2011

Employing found materials such as table linen, human hair, and lace, Wilson explores themes of time, loss, and private and social rituals. In this exhibition, Wilson uses glass—a medium in which she began working at the Pilchuck Glass School artist residency in Washington in 2005. There, she became interested in the relationship between textile processes and glass fabrication: fibrous and flexible when molten, glass bends, spins, winds, and wraps. By translating fiber bobbin-winding and rewinding into glass, Wilson exploits aesthetic analogies between two distinct materials and modes of production.

The largest sculpture in the exhibition, Rewinds, is comprised of a large horizontal glass platform, an architecturally aligned carpet-like space filled with an array of glass weaving bobbins. Organized in a relationship to the working processes of sorting sizes and colors in piles and rows, Rewinds implies a workspace, a topography of use. Other works in the exhibition include vitrines of glass knitting and lace tools, and glass bobbins with various colors of thread and fiber. These delicate sculptures exemplify both the industrial and hand processes they represent, fixing them in time and inviting meditation on disparate cultural contexts of making. In our society of technologically-mediated reproduction, there is renewed interest in the deliberate and intimate tactility of manual craft. Rewinds addresses the complex subject of hand-making objects over time, and the conditions of labor in other areas of the world that rely on non-technological processes to survive.

Activating the space between the painting and the viewer, Ledgerwood’s patterns are composed of shapes proportioned to the body of the viewer, and various color interactions within those shapes. This relationship between the pictorial and the physical space is often linked to Color Field painting, a style of abstract painting in which large fields of solid color create a flat picture plane, emphasizing process and consistency of form.

Chromatic Patterns for Chicago are new wall paintings, with a repeating pattern in rich manganese blue, metallic copper, and florescent pink on one wall, and ultramarine blue, fluorescent red, and burnt umber paint on the other. With their drooping, irregular edges, the wall paintings appear to hang on a fictional support against the wall while simultaneously mimicking the wall itself. Ledgerwood’s bright hues are selected to contrast the frigid Chicago climate and respond to the physical space in the front gallery, which she views as a theatrical box with a screen-like window facing the street.

The Blob Paintings displayed in the middle gallery space are new works for Ledgerwood as well. Composed of two-part urethane foam, color is added to a mixture and then to an activator which hardens the work. Once the activator is added, Ledgerwood has no more than 60 seconds to make the painting. These works, which are performative in their making, differ from Ledgerwood’s more controlled practices of the past. Just as the two-dimensional works engage the space with color interaction, the blob paintings physically reach toward the viewer, and are more akin to sculpture. More literal and more immediate, these paintings use alternate means to articulate the very same ideas as Ledgerwood’s two-dimensional wall paintings.

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