Madeleine Eve Ignon on What We Cast Away, Artist Profile

Madeleine Eve Ignon on What We Cast Away, Artist Profile

By Debra Herrick

The artist Madeleine Eve Ignon has been cataloguing all the letters she’s received in her life. They’re what she’d grab in a fire. Letters, journals, documents, old magazines from her mom and her youth.

Lately, she’s been working a lot in the light yellows of legal pads, post-its and aged paper, referencing the increased obsolescence of paper, and smartly rebooting a '90s/early ‘00s teen spirit in puff paints, YM and Seventeen clippings.

“I heard about Trump ripping up his memos,” says Ignon, who smiles noting that yellow is an important color in Sister Corita Kent’s work. The artists share a proclivity for bold colors, lettering and activism. Ignon is a skilled graphic designer by trade, bringing the lyricism of Cy Twombly to the ziggurat of Ed Ruscha, adapting the language of the latter for more feminist aims. “On the spectrum of text between Ruscha and (Barbara) Kruger.”

Ignon’s work plays with the calculations of turning old bed sheets into paper, and the nostalgia paint bleeds into the fibers produced. As a graphic designer, she has a familiarity with typography and logos. In her new works on cloth, canvas and paper, she hand letters everything. She follows Mission School artist Margaret Kilgallen’s line, utilizing the techniques of folk and stylized sign painting.


The work evokes the tension of legibility, the play between reading verse seeing—text verse image—language verse mark. Ignon plays with the viewer and ignites this question in vivid colors, vinyl cut-outs, puff paint, glue, redacted and edited text. “It’s a different approach to text and messaging. Gestural.”

Ludic, decisive and beautiful.

Ignon is rereading old things. She’s reawakening old paper, old clothes, old words.

“Transformative, recycled. What we cast away.”


Madeleine Eve Ignon's solo show "re:writing" will be on view at Glassbox Gallery, UCSB from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. A reception will be held at Glassbox on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Work by Madeleine Eve Ignon will be on view in “POV: Tosh Clements, Arturo Heredia, Madeleine Eve Ignon, Tom Pazderka – A LUM Art Zine Show,” January 18 to February 8, 2019 at the Santa Barbara Center for Arts Science and Technology, SBCAST, 513 Garden St., Santa Barbara.  

An opening reception will be held on Friday, January 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at SBCAST. Drinks, music, art. Open to the public. Contact for price list and sales.

“Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head,” MCASB Satellite

“Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head,” MCASB Satellite

wave: Roe Anne White, Porch Carpinteria

wave: Roe Anne White, Porch Carpinteria