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The paintings from my L.E.D. series reference radar-like light on luminous black grounds (as from electronics.) The emotional or narrative associations poetically derived from L.E.D (such as light machines, sound, the lead element, tenses of “to lead”, the reference to paths and search, as well as temperature, luminosity and weight) interact with my visual games.
The show at Barry Whistler Gallery represents work inspired by a moment one trip of sitting on the tarmac in an airplane. I got lost looking out the window and the yellow and black lines on the runway really started to resonate with me. I really wanted to bring this into a painting and I’ve been working on these paintings for the past few years. The L.E.D. work’s veils and values of blackish-grey follow previous works where my investigation of painted grounds focused on bright yellow, various greys, red or Pescia blue. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “Remarks on Colour” is a touchstone for my questions regarding color and luminosity; and the black is also informed by Robert Moskowitz’s night drawings. I also think of Roman frescos with dark backgrounds (on one end of the time spectrum) and a Jenny Holzer installation at the DIA Foundation, NYC, many, many years ago on the other. Her installation included a huge dark room with carefully placed vertical red L.E.D. messages. The room had an odd, almost silent, yet beautiful “pinging” sound. I also enjoy works by Jonathan Lasker, Joanne Greenbaum and Terry Winters.
My L.E.D. works have a painterly, searching, as well as process-oriented use of mark and tool resulting in a very tactile surface. The paintings are built slowly like puzzles with line, color, and shape reflecting my interest in structure, light, space/spatial tension, and architecture (i.e. using aerial, plan, side-view, and map-like orientation.) Shapes and individual parts, which I use repeatedly in my paintings and drawings (and re-invent with each use), serve as a language, and are drawn from specific sources (for example, natural or man-made geometry, plastic toys, transportation terminal layouts, a Photoshop Magnetic Lasso selection tool, and my shapes themselves) and form hybrid abstractions. The drawing is slowly arrived at yet determined and intentional.
Overall, the resulting mechanical-like systems in my work over the years are subjected to or are participants in an indirect and formal examination of structure; or a subverted diagrammatic, engineering process. Parts are extracted, analyzed, and re-translated, using both digital and analog tools. I propose questions in the investigation and set up specific games, parameters and rules to respond to in the work’s progression. The language of line propels the work, and I use it to help make visible the parts, and to find the answer to ‘what connects to this, how is this connected to that, etc.’
Lorraine Tady (b. 1967) lives and works in Dallas, TX. She attended the Yale/Norfolk School of Art in 1988 with the Ellen Battell-Stoeckel Fellowship. She received her BFA in painting from Ohio’s Wright State University in 1989 and, on full scholarship, her MFA in 1991 from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
Tady has had numerous solo shows at the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, TX as well as group exhibitions nationally, including Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and SPACES in Cleveland. Her work was included in New American Paintings #48 in 2003. She received the Kimbrough Award from the Dallas Museum of Art in 1993 and the Ruth and Harold Chenven Award in 2010. She was nominated for the Arthouse Texas Prize, the Joan Mitchell Grant and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant. Tady is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Visual Art at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Dallas, Southern Methodist University, and Baylor University. Her work is included in the American Airlines collection, Saks Fifth Avenue, Miami, as well as private collections in Dallas and New York.