Addie Langford

Addie Langford lives and works in Detroit. She completed her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art in ceramics after a BFA in architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2006- 07 she was a Fulbright Fellow in Madrid, Spain, where she conducted research on tapestry in relation to contemporary collage. Drawing upon her Fulbright research she completed and exhibited a body of large scale mixed media drawings, Slow Knots, in 2007 in Madrid. Since then, her practice has focused on painting, mixed media collage, and ceramics. She has had solo shows at the Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit (A Timeless Elsewhere, 2016), at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit (Textures, 2013), and participated in group shows at N’Namdi Contemporary, Miami (Confluence, 2015), and at Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, New York, NY, (21st Century Abstract Painting and Sculpture, 2016). Addie Langford Statement, March 2018 Addie Langford’s practice draws on her varied background in painting, ceramics, drawing, fabrics, and structural influences from architecture and craft. Her work is marked by layering and uneven densities in relation to various supports, and a hyper-exposure of materials to subtle natural forces (water, pressure, layering, erosion, thinning, absorption, thickening), not in order to destroy, but to form, warp or shape medium and support. Her works archive the subtlety of deformation and the experience of natural and imposed stresses. For Langford’s work, traditions in Southern Appalachian craft from quilts to barn structures, weaving, and vessels emerge and recede as forms or fragmentary histories in dialogue with movements such as Supports/Surfaces and Korean Dansaekhwa, or artists such as François Rouan, Simon Hantaï, and McArthur Binion. The current works are paintings on supports drawn from domestic upholstery/faux tapestry home decor fabrics applied to board - covering materials selected for their hyper-domestic imagery – and yet, there is a rawness about the paint-work, with marked passages of
unresolved affect, a sense of urgency in execution in a drama of mediation and reflection around form and execution. There are moments of suddenness and swiftness, passages of
overlying and bleeding colors – complex tones – that remind me, the painter, and may be the viewer, of moments of the Baroque: in texture, in the violence of emerging affects and glimpsed, buried emotions. As one stands back and view the work – be absorbed by it? – it becomes apparent that there is a close relationship between support and the construction of surfaces and movements in the work. The contrast in palette between front and reverse sides, a characteristic color reversal created by the weave structures of the fabric / support, accentuates the duality of the diptych form through opposing tones where one might be
able to speak of, glimpse senses / sensations of underneathness (as explored by Dubuffet) and interior states. The fabrics are mass produced synthetic repeats that invite annihilation
and/or redemption of their implied domestic fantasy prints and the attempt at such things
is the act or challenge in the work - the tension between the denial and restoration of
beauty and ideas of happiness, dreams and domestic perfection. The weave structures digest or swallow paint as it dries leaving a texture and sense of thinning or after-image in
the surface-work - these works are in some sense more materially spare yet more visually
elaborate than works in Langford’s Gray or Hanging Gardens series, yet they still seem
urgent. In this new body of work Addie Langford continues to explore and reflect on and to
extend the traditions and forms of Supports/Surfaces and Korean Dansaekhwa,
creating late modern works in the renewal of the language of abstraction.