DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Valerie Jaudon: Parameters, an exhibition of new paintings shown with a selection of works from the last two decades.
In 2006, Valerie Jaudon’s practice underwent a fundamental shift when the artist eschewed color and optical elements for compositions of white paint on bare linen canvas. Her most recent paintings maintain the simplified palette of white and black paint on raw canvas, while introducing freely curving lines, creating irregular forms within the complex architecture of the composition. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, featuring an essay by Pepe Karmel, “Valerie Jaudon: Symmetry and Its Discontents.”
In Jaudon’s newest paintings, a complex balance emerges between a symmetrical wholeness and deliberate irregularities, which Karmel describes as a “regenerative experience of disruption and restoration.” Using building blocks of straight lines and curves, the artist puts into play an endlessly open-ended visual system. Calling to mind diverse references such as musical scores, cartography, Islamic and Romanesque architecture, and mathematical fractals, these abstract forms comprise a unique alphabet drawn from naturally occurring patterns, geometrical constructs, and art historical signifiers.
Several of the new works feature unmodeled, yet almost sculptural, shapes filling in the configuration of line work, with blank canvas creating space around these enclosures. Jaudon inverts her patterns to generate new forms, exploring the full possibilities of space created by the linear motifs. The linear composition of Aria becomes the template for the planar forms of Consort (both 2022), with convex and comma-like shapes created by altering the relationships of positive and negative space. The precisionist rigor of these paintings is balanced by a lively painted surface and a feeling of spontaneity -- the grid providing a ground for improvisation rather than constriction.
Karmel’s essay examines Jaudon’s oeuvre within the larger history of abstraction and the dialectic of symmetry and asymmetry in art. As Pepe Karmel says of these works:
Quietly radical, the new paintings demand a rethinking of both Jaudon’s own art and the longer history of abstraction.
Jaudon’s ongoing project to harmonize abstract forms as a public language and a mode of individual expression remains continually relevant to a visual world increasingly influenced by algorithms and sign systems. These paintings reward close, and repeated viewing, offering perpetually new points of entry.
Valerie Jaudon (b. 1945) is the recipient of numerous awards and grants and her work has been collected by and exhibited in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Buffalo, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaeck, Denmark; Ludwig Forum Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany, and Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (Mumok), Vienna.
Recent museum exhibitions including Jaudon’s work include Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA (2023) and National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (2024); Somewhere Downtown: Art in 1980s New York, UCCA Beijing, China (2022-2023); With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2019-2020) and the Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2021); Less is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design, Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2019); Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany, traveled to Mumok Vienna and Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary (2018-2019); Pattern, Decoration & Crime, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland, traveled to Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2018-2019).