Berggruen Gallery is pleased to present Linda Ridgway: A Story and the Poet, an exhibition of recent sculptures and works on paper by Texas based artist, Linda Ridgway. Berggruen Gallery has worked with Ridgway for over twenty-five years and this show marks her fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. A Story and the Poet and will be on view July 28 through August 27, 2022.
Linda Ridgway is influenced by the weight of prose and how literature and nature intertwine to uncover new ideas of selfhood and material expression. Since 1987, Ridgway has been working with bronze and stretching the medium in new directions. She is well known for her intricate bronze sculptures that ascribe the enduring medium to ephemeral themes. In her 2013 Berggruen Gallery exhibition, The Grand Anonymous, she juxtaposed the material with lighter lace and crochet textures, exploring themes of domesticity and heritage. Ridgway’s new body of work, A Story and the Poet, focuses on natural themes by creating sculptures that offer an organic break for the medium. With precise lines and delicate forms, her exhibition A Story and the Poet, includes both bronze sculpture and works on paper, and celebrates the artist’s use of poetry as her muse and nature as her grounding force for self-discovery.
Ridgway draws inspiration from nature’s cyclical patterns, often referencing shapes that allude to states of growth and decay. Her sculpture Brother Line bends long and upward, grounded in a rising state of expansion, while her quieter work, Glory, suggests a melancholic leaf weathered by storm. Throughout the exhibition Ridgway looks at how sculptures can capture movement and interact with the shadows they create. Her unique bronze casting, Diagram from the River Ouse, shows a gathering of grasses fanning outward. Ridgway intricately crafts the stems of the branches creating depth and atmosphere among their shadows. Ridgway juxtaposes her medium with temporal themes, drawing on natural tropes for understanding and insight.
Ridgway’s work emerges not only from natural themes, but from a deep appreciation of poetry. In Sounds of Trees, the artist threads Robert Frost’s poems directly into the work and incorporates the poet’s writing into her literary title. For other pieces, Ridgway creates sculptural poems through a curious trail of objects. Her eponymous sculpture A Story and the Poet presents a bronze domino piece and mesh wiring held within a tangled branch. The contemporary piece asks of imaginative thought, and playful interpretation through its alluring narrative. Ridgway’s long admiration of poetry stems from her childhood memories of a strong familial passion for literature. She continues to find great inspiration and comfort from its emotive power.
At the root of Ridgway’s work is her study of lines. She is fascinated by the simplicity of groves, and the way edges structurally assemble. The exhibition presents the artists new archival pigment prints overlayed with a fine graphite grid. Ridgway uses lines to create order and harmony atop her nature-based photographs. She also looks to grasslands, commonly referencing grass as nature’s signature, to guide her drawing practice. Ridgway’s Morning Light studies, two works composed of graphic and colored pencil on paper, elegantly expose the delicate bends of branches, and the slight shimmer of morning sun. Because it was grassy and wanted wear, receiving its name from a line in Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” visualizes the wildness of an untamed trail through scattered, yet controlled marks. Ridgway’s mastery of, and attention to, line reflects her desire to have her art whisper and present peace above all else. At its core, Ridgway’s A Story and the Poet is an ode to nature and all who find solace among its presence.
Linda Ridgway born in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1947. Ridgway received an M.F.A. from Tulane University and a B.F.A. from the Louisville School of Art. Her work has been included in various solo and group exhibitions, most recently in 2021 in From First and Last Lines, To the River Ouse: Works by Linda Ridgway at the Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas and Linda Ridgway: Herself at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas. Other exhibitions include Art & Language: A Shared Conversation, Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas; Linda Ridgway: White Flowers, Dallas Visual Art Center, Texas, solo exhibition to recognize the 2001 Legend Award Artist; One Hundred Years: The Permanent Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas in 2002, among others. Ridgway currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.
Linda Ridgway: A Story and the Poet, July 28 - August 27, 2022. On view at 10 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Images and preview are available upon request. For all inquiries, please contact the gallery by phone (415) 781-4629 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.