Ann Ledy

by Roger Shepherd , 1993

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Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation
Goethe, Faust, Part II

It rests by changing.

We look to a text such as this to illuminate when in fact it often casts its shadow. Arguably this is inevitable and unavoidable. It may be prudent therefore, to give back to the viewer the privilege of looking to Ann Ledy’s drawings to discover what they mean while we examine here the process of search in these drawings and speculate instead upon how they mean.

Irreducible to concepts, Ledy's drawings may at first appear resistant. They are, however, unguarded and willing to be open. Provided we make the effort and leave habit at the door, the drawings will admit us into their confidence. The smallest gesture reveals an apperceptive mechanism of formation, a heuristic exploration both intelligible and sensational, undertaken with great care. Every maneuver, deceptively simple and disarmingly deft, affects and is affected by another. Dancing from move to countermove, the eye watches and abets an inspired ritual of transformation. What was austere, even severe, with time becomes a resonating calculus, a duration which is the origin of the rich, complex narrative of these drawings: the place where, if we are mindful, the meaning eternally unfolds.

In Ledy's work what occurs occupies a place in time much greater than that so sparingly conceded to it in space. Layers of translucent paper often pass over one another in an alchemical recreation that piques the desire to pry underneath, yet it's only natural that the material below rest there undisturbed. That which seems concealed in these drawings is after all never truly hidden; it is in potentia like a bubble about to burst, a word about to be spoken. Or, in an analogy that moves contrariwise , a musical sound which just broke a moment ago is now on the verge of fading when the next note, the now, is struck upon the instrument. Time is protracted, extended beyond measure; we are able to see change.

Shepherd, Roger. Ann Ledy: Works on Paper. New York, NY: n.p., 1993. © 1993 Roger Shepherd