My work is a series of collages and fragmentations of surfaces and imagery. It speaks about memory and metaphor. I combine landscape, still life, patterns, and figures in an effort to imitate the eclectic nature of our memories. I use everything from wallpaper, found photos and postcards, to handwritten letters and recipes. Some of my mentors are Walker Evans and Joseph Cornell. Evans photographs capture the strange poetry of the association of everyday objects collected with a sort of reverence and meaning. Cornell, on the other hand, was all about manipulation, yet he too used everyday objects and imagery to create a mysterious and sacred place, not unlike a religious altar. As with Cornell and Evans, I think of this work as visual poetry that creates a context of mystery. In this way, it suggests the finding of an artifact from another time. It imparts a contradictory sense of loss and discovery on the viewer.
Tom Judd was born in Lawrenceville, New Jersey in 1952, but grew up from the age of two with two sisters and a brother in Salt Lake City, Utah. Judd attended the University of Utah from 1970 to 1972 when he departed on a six-month leave of absence to travel in Europe. He returned in 1973 to attend the Philadelphia College of Art where he studied with Rafael Ferrer, Bob Kulicke, and Larry Day, graduating with a BFA in painting in 1975. Judd first exhibited his work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1979, where at 25 he was included in a survey show entitled “Contemporary Drawing: Philadelphia.” Judd went on to exhibit his work in distinguished commercial galleries beginning with his first solo exhibit at Eric Makler Gallery in Philadelphia in 1980. In 1984 he was given a solo exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1990, Judd had a ten-year retrospective at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. The show also traveled to the Salt Lake Art Center the following year. In 2009, Judd joined forces with curator and gallery owner Allen Sheppard to produce “Evidence of a Collected Past”. This exhibition was staged at the Globe Dye Works - an alternative art space in Philadelphia - and consisted of a 20 year retrospective of Judd’s works.