Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Chromatic Patterns for the Graham Foundation
Judy Ledgerwood
JAN 23, 2014 - APR 05, 2014

In Chromatic Patterns for the Graham Foundation, Chicago-based painter Judy Ledgerwood creates an immersive, site-specific wall painting that transforms the first-floor galleries of the Foundation’s historic Madlener House—designed by Richard E. Schmidt and Hugh M. G. Garden and built in 1901–02. Enveloping visitors in an optically expansive field of vibrant fluorescent colors with a metallic floral motif that pulsate in close proximity to the building’s Prairie-style ornamentation, this installation explores the possibilities of painting as it approaches the conditions of architecture—where walls take on new meaning and function, and the surface, the possibility to produce new affects. Intentionally confusing viewers’ perception of space through her use of hot color and reflective pattern, Ledgerwood prompts us to consider the divergent ways that pattern, color, ornamentation, and surface have been variously coded, gendered, repressed, and embraced in art and architecture.

Judy Ledgerwood is a Chicago-based painter and educator. She is the recipient of numerous awards including The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award, an Artadia Award, a Tiffany Award in the Visual Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and an Illinois Art Council Award. 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. She received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and a MFA the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ledgerwood is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.


View of “Judy Ledgerwood: Chromatic Patterns for the Graham Foundation,” 2014, Graham Foundation, Chicago. Photo Tom Van Eynde.