Organized by the Tyler Museum of Art, “From First and Last Lines, To the River Ouse: Works by Linda Ridgway” spotlights recent works alongside select pieces from throughout her career. The exhibition is currently running through August 29.
Ridgway (born 1947 in Jeffersonville, Indiana) creates poetic bronze wall reliefs that convey both autobiographical and cultural imagery. Although educated as a printmaker, Ridgway continues to experiment with the limits of various media to create work that remains intimate regardless of scale.
Ridgway’s bronzes emerge from a two-dimensional template to become new spatial objects that elucidate the artist’s personal experiences. These works span the themes of femininity, tradition, and heritage while establishing their own permanence through the medium of bronze.
She juxtaposes the delicacy of the textures of lace and crochet work with the monochromatic and industrial fortitude of metalwork. While some of her works emphasize a reverence for domesticity, Ridgway also uses the translation of knit pieces into bronze sculptures to underscore a disintegration of memory.
The artist’s work emerges not only from specific sentiments but also from a rich appreciation of poetry. Ridgway uses Robert Frost in her work frequently, both referencing and physically including his words in works such as “Now Let the Night,” 2013 and “But the Secret Sits in the Middle and Knows,” 2011. Ridgway’s love of Frost, amongst other writers such as Mary Oliver and Harper Lee, is rooted in childhood memories of her mother’s passion for literature. Ridgway both references and physically includes literature in her sculptures by interweaving text in nests and using books as the stuffing of her pillows. In this way, she investigates how instrumental these works are to her identity as an artist, mother, daughter and friend.
Ridgway received an M.F.A. from Tulane University and a B.F.A. from the Louisville School of Art. She has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
The Tyler Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.TylerMuseum.org to learn more.