Judith Pratt

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My installations explore the origins of undisclosed racism in the U.S. The work  connects identity, place, and the history of Central Virginia where I was born and raised. The region poignantly combines expansive natural beauty with a turbulent history that includes centuries of chattel slavery, brutal Civil War battles, and the ongoing impact of racism and white supremacy. The installations take on a form of social reckoning that allows me to explore and grasp these inequities. The process of creating the installations also allows me to viscerally connect with the physical and psychological abuse imposed on enslaved people during the forming of our country. Tightly-constructed linear images are composed of repeated contour lines with acrylic paint on Lenox 100 paper. The paper is produced in the U.S from 100% domestic cotton, further emphasizing the South’s racial transgressions. The resulting images bring to light a network of undisclosed information yet to be addressed through our cultural conversation. The installations combine large scale works on paper, wall hung sculpture, totems, and floor-installed images. The work highlights what is seen and unseen as it explores historic racism and additional truths that are being further examined through archeological discoveries in and around the U.S. Research using topographical maps, diagrams of trans-Atlantic slave trade routes, and historical records of unidentified slave burial grounds collectively provide a framework for complex visual parables and abstracted landscapes where indisputable concealing of racism is brought to light through the artistic process.

Mapping No.2
This work addresses the psychological impact of mapping of thousands of unmarked graves in Virginia.
Work Credit: 
Judith Pratt
Mapping No. 1
This work addresses the psychological impact of mapping of thousands of unmarked graves in Virginia.
Work Credit: 
Judith Pratt
This installation addresses the undisclosed information about the brutality of racism, the unmarked graves, and the mapping of the graves in the state of Virginia where I was born and raised..
Work Credit: 
Judith PRtt
Mapping No.4
This installation addresses the psychological impact of mapping of thousands of unmarked graves in Virginia.
Work Credit: 
Judith Pratt
Mapping No. 4 (details)
This detail od Mapping No. 4 addresses the psychological impact of mapping of thousands of unmarked graves in Virginia.
Work Credit: 
Judith Pratt

Judith Pratt


Judith Pratt holds an MFA in Painting from American University, and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from Christie's Education, New York. She also served as a curatorial assistant in the Modern and Contemporary Drawings and Prints Department at New York’s Morgan Library and Museum. 

In 2022 Pratt became the recipient of the 22/23 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award, Richmond, VA. She also was selected as a Trawick Prize Finalist in 2022. In 2021-2022, her work was featured in the Taubman Museum of Art’s Triennial Exhibition in Roanoke, VA curated by Nandini Makrandi. Her outdoor sculpture is currently installed at Oxon Hill Manor, Oxon Hill, MD through 2023, with the support of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Division of the Maryland Park and Planning Commission and Sarah Tanguy, who acted as curator for the Art in Embassy’s Program at the Department of State for 15 years. In 2017 and 2018, Pratt’s work was featured in solo exhibitions at Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C. and at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Va. In 2019, Pratt’s work was selected for Arlington Art Center’s Regional Biennial. Her work was also included in simultaneous group shows at Hillyer Art Space: Micro-Monuments II: Undergroundcurated by Artemis Herber and juried by Laura Roulet as well as Uprooted, a juried exhibition by Adriel Luis, curator at the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific Center. 

Pratt was awarded a VCCA Residency in 2014 to Auvillar, France. She also was selected to join a group of international artists in the inaugural Art Lab Residency Program sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station, with emphasis on combining the visual arts and science in a mutually experimental inquiry. Her artwork has been featured in four editions of the literary journal Raritan: A Quarterly Review, published by Rutgers University.

The Jewish Museum in New York included Pratt's thesis on American Modernist artist Florine Stettheimer as a scholarly source for its Stettheimer retrospective in 2017. The thesis titled Orphée des Quat'z' Arts: A Personal Passage into American Modernism supports Stettheimer’s performance and sculptural work as pivotal in the rise of performance art during the Postmodern era.  

Pratt's work has been reviewed in Artnews, The Washington Post, and East City Art. She has lectured at Christie's Education, New York, taught at Trinity College and American University in Washington, D.C., and lectured at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She is currently on the Advisory Board of the Washington Sculptors Group, a 400-member organization that provides opportunities for artists in the Mid-Atlantic region. Pratt lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.

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