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Tom Judd Configurations: New Work at William Holman Gallery
March 7 – March 31, 2013
“Weather is omnipresent and buildings must be left out in the rain.”
- Frank Lloyd Wright
NEW YORK, February 24, 2013 - William Holman Gallery is honored to present a large solo exhibition of recent work by Tom Judd at the gallery from March 7 to March 31, 2013. A lifelong interpreter of memory and of the allegory of modern life, Judd has focused with this work on buildings and chattel as they fade and surrender their shiny facades, to ultimately become obsolete and abandoned.
Judd has prepared an exhibition of monumental canvases and drawings about the relationship between the modern architecture of his childhood and their fading isolation and their ultimate archaic decline and isolation as they enter history. The allegory begins with Judd’s own family “modern” pink house built in the hills near Salt Lake City and is expanded in seven other paintings of 20th Century houses by Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Neutra and others, floating in unstable spaces, empty and alone, as isolated as a Hopper streetscape. While the modern house is conceived as a monumental and functional trophy of the new, it is also a symbol of the lonely and isolated passages of modern life.
Tom Judd commented that: “I grew up in the 60s in a pink cinder block house with large windows, a patio with a rock garden and open carport. Although influenced by the ideas of early modern architecture, the house had none of the attention to detail and great design. Yet for its time it was a bold statement and embraced exotic ideas about the future. My parents built the house in 1958. I remember a picture of my father in 1957 standing in an empty field with the architectural drawings under his arm, anticipating the ground breaking and imagining himself living in a ‘Modern House’. But something always happens to our ideas about the future when that future finally arrives.”
This series of paintings by Judd reflects the artist’s interest and love of early modern architecture, the allegory it represented as well as the sheer beauty of the “objects.” These buildings and designers presented the audacious view that architecture could make a difference not only with where we live but how we live. They speak to an unbridled belief in man’s ability to imagine and design the future.
Over time however, these once startlingly simple and forward-looking designs now appear almost quaint, as beautiful antiques from a by-gone era. As with all backward looking work, there is the sense of nostalgia for a nobler time: the past always seems nobler (When the giants of architecture roamed the earth with their ideas of Utopia).
Judd has described these paintings as portraits, floating in space, returned to the world of dreams. They are homage to a time of great ideas, from a distance. Beautiful things… left out in the rain.
Tom Judd lives and works in Philadelphia.