Samantha Ludwig is an artist who works comfortably in several mediums. In the work highlighted here, she draws houses in exquisitely rendered detail. They are executed in graphite, using a pencil. The richness of the mark making and modeled textures connect us to the sublime satisfaction of the most fundamental artist’s action: the simple act of drawing - observation through the eye and to the hand.
But Ludwig’s technique is far from simple, and the attention to detail is not just academic. She invests each structure with real feeling for the space they occupy, the life that has been lived with these walls. She forces such introspection by isolating the building and the yard from the environment. Stripped of that larger social context, it is surprising how much is still communicated through the immediate relationship of space and architectural form.
Ludwig also works with textiles, with a particular emphasis on flags that are variations on the United States of America “stars and stripes.”
Writing on her blog, Ludwig explains: “Most people are confused and are unsure of what I mean when I say, ‘I'm making flags,’ which is understandable. It's a long process that initials a lot of math and attention. From making color samples so that you can replicate colors, to making the dye into a paste, and then taping, masking, and embroidering the material that is to be the final piece, and even all that doesn't cover it.”
More recently, Ludwig has returned to wood block prints, making prints of a size that allows a very hands-on approach to process – her press is her feet: “…me alone in the studio dancing, sliding and shuffling on them on top of the plywood.”
“It’s been wonderful to revisit it (wood cutting), because there’s something incredibly enticing about carving. I remember when I was in elementary school I dreamed of becoming a master wood whittler.
Samanth Ludwig will be participating in the 2018 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in the Germantown neighborhood, will be open the weekend of November 3 and 4. Tickets for OpenStudio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.
Quills, Introducing: Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky.
Great Flood, 4735 Peachtree, Louisville, Kentucky.
St. James Juried Art Festival, The Work of Samantha Ludwig, Louisville, Kentucky.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting and Fiber, Kansas City Art Institute, BHA, Concentration Western Art History
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“In Vogue We Trust” by Samantha Ludwig, Dyed cotton, 3x6ft, 2011, Private collection
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.