Linda Ridgway

The Library

Talley Dunn Gallery
January 20 – April 6, 2024

Linda Ridgway, The Library, 2024, Installation View, Talley Dunn Gallery

Talley Dunn Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of deeply revered Texas artist Linda Ridgway. Spanning the entirety of the Main Gallery, The Library is a comprehensive, momentous exhibition that carefully represents Ridgway’s rich visual vocabulary which beautifully weaves throughout different media such as sculpture, printmaking, and her most recent mode of assemblage the artist refers to as “tabletops.” Ridgway works in a language of delicate materialism, offering poetic considerations of unassuming objects and fragments of the natural world that encourage viewers to see differently–into the heart and soul of objects and feelings. The artist’s tender gaze is singular and suffusive throughout her body of work from her intricate traces of graphite on paper to the thin curvatures of her bronze sculpture. Ridgway’s artwork encourages a kind of viewing that allows us to give ourselves over to feeling in all of its very fullness.

This exhibition takes its title from the artist’s desire to pay tribute to how literature and words have importantly influenced her visual language. As increasing legislation banning books from school districts affects the education of today’s students, the artist recalls the library space as her first studio. Growing up in the countryside, Ridgway found that books were crucial places to travel to and learn from. In high school, she worked at her library where she was tasked with creating tabletop displays and bulletin boards. Ridgway’s first tabletop assemblage work Herself, a central piece of her exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center in 2021, was inspired by a color illustrated copy of the artist’s favorite childhood book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that a friend had gifted to her. This work is included in the exhibition along with a new tabletop inspired by Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. The artist describes these works as capturing remnants, mementos, and clues of life and its mysteries. Her work, however, is ultimately disinterested in the representational. The artist responds to the legacies of influential figures in minimalism such as Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Ridgway is a part of a generation of post-minimalist artists like Eva Hesse who moved beyond rigid form to deeper explore the affective registers of their art. Ridgway’s artworks are visual poetry where revelations of beauty can be made alongside those of sorrow and longing.

Herself, 2021
Graphite, ink, Organdy dress, bronze, books and mixed media
35h x 79w x 32d inches installed
Linda Ridgway
Beyond, 2020
Bronze with patina, unique
90h x 33w x 16d inches
Linda Ridgway
Summer’s Empty Room, 2023
Bronze, unique
23 1/2h x 19w x 5d inche
Linda Ridgway
If springs from winter rise, 2023
Bronze, unique with 24 karat gold leaf
19h x 28w x 5 1/2d inches
Linda Ridgway
Book of Hours, 2022
Bronze, copper with 24 karat gold leaf
15h x 14 1/2w x 1 1/2d inches
Linda Ridgway
To the Lighthouse, For Virginia, 2024
Graphite, ink, Organdy dress, bronze, unique, books and mixed media
35h x 29w x 61d inches
Linda Ridgway
Twisted Fate: The Bride, 2023
Graphite and netting on paper
71h x 41w inches
Linda Ridgway
Fallen upon the corner of the moon, 2020
Graphite, ink and white charcoal on paper
72h x 42 1/2w inches
Linda Ridgway
Because it was grassy and wanted wear, R.F., 2022
Graphite on paper
42 1/2h x 42w inches
Linda Ridgway
The past before my feet, 2020
Graphite on paper
42 1/4h x 42w inches
Linda Ridgway
In Balance – three points, 2023
Graphite oon paper
59 1/2h x 42 1/2w inches
Linda Ridgway
The Lesson in Note, 2022
Graphite on paper
44 1/2h x 30w inches

Born in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Linda Ridgway received her MFA from Tulane University, where she studied printmaking. She is widely recognized for her poetic sculptures in bronze. Working across various media, Ridgway creates an evocative symbolic language using forms found in nature as well as domestic textiles. While her works reflect personal experiences and often allude to specific poems or works of literature, they also contemplate enduring questions of memory, womanhood, tradition, and ephemerality. Often ethereal in their delicacy and their inclusion of impermanent organic material, her works question accepted understandings of nature and femininity, and their connected cultural associations. Gestural lines, fine detail, and organic forms create a sense of intimacy and reveal the influence of post-minimalism.

Throughout her career, Linda Ridgway’s sculptures, drawings, and prints have been featured in more than thirty solo exhibitions as well as a number of important group exhibitions. The artist’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the Dallas Museum of Art; the El Paso Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Old Jail Art Center; Albany, Texas; and the Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas. Ridgway currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.