Confronting the traditions of modernist painting, Judy Ledgerwood uses color as the primary agent to question the conventions of heroic painting. Early in her career, Ledgerwood began incorporating traditionally feminine pastel colors into her paintings in an attempt to challenge and undermine the historically male-dominated tradition of abstract painting. Today her compositions include motifs typically associated with the decorative arts tradition.
Ledgerwood is the recipient of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award, a Tiffany Award in the Visual Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and an Illinois Art Council Award. Her paintings and wall painting installations have been presented at Hausler Contemporary Gallery, Munich and Switzerland, Tracy Williams Ltd New York, and 1301PE in Los Angeles, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Smart Museum Chicago, and the Graham Foundation for Architecture and Fine Arts Chicago, to mention a few. Her work is represented in public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 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. She has been commissioned by the American Embassy to make site-specific works for the Embassies of Laos and Djibouti, and by the City of Chicago to make a pair of digital stained glass windows for the Bir Hakeim station in Paris, France. Her degrees are from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, BFA, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA.
Judy Ledgerwood is the Alice Welsh Skilling Professor of Art at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice, as well as the Director of Graduate Studies.