Urgent Museum Notice

Valerie Jaudon

Color photo of a seated woman with her hands on her knees. She has shoulder-length blonde hair and light skin and looks past the camera. Behind her, abstract paintings on panels of yellow, white and blue covered in black symbols. A patch of sunlight lights the left side of her face.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Born in 1945

Together with Joyce Kozloff, Miriam Schapiro, and other artists associated with Pattern and Decoration, Jaudon challenged the long-held perception of decorative, or “feminine,” art as an inferior counterpart to abstraction as practiced by predominantly male artists.

Jaudon’s paintings evoke the ornamental embellishments of folk and applied arts from many cultures, but are constructed from the traditional vocabulary of Western, non-referential abstraction. Her approach to abstraction reflects a fascination with systems and an interest using simple elements to create visual complexity.

She begins by generating decorative motifs from superimposed horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and circular grids. She extends these designs through various modes of repetition, altering the motifs until they cover her canvas. Working with a limited color palette, she paints close to the edges of her penciled outlines, leaving thin bands of raw canvas exposed between the colored forms.

The resulting images are systematic and strongly evocative of architecture, calligraphy, and hieroglyphs. Like visual puzzles, Jaudon’s abstraction invites the viewer to decipher the grammatical structure embedded in each work.

While Jaudon is best known as a painter, she also creates prints and has executed numerous public art projects, including murals and landscape designs of public gardens. She lives and works in New York.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Valerie Jaudon
  • Birth

    Greenville, Mississippi, 1945
  • Phonetic Spelling

    VAL-err-ee zhoh-doh(n)

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