Biography of Polly Apfelbaum
The work of internationally acclaimed American artist Polly Apfelbaum (b. 1955) is instantly alluring. Rainbows of vibrant colors come together in works that hover between prints, paintings, installations and sculptures. They are often hard to categorize, as they include all kinds of artistic practices all at once, as well as found objects and craft works. Apfelbaum, influenced by the visual languages of abstract expressionist and feminist tendencies, explores ideas about gender, identity and daily existence through these kaleidoscopic compositions. The artwork titles too reveal an array of sources of inspiration, from music, history, politics, architecture, nature, film and mass media.
Polly Apfelbaum’s works are carefully planned, though an element of spontaneity is retained by the impromptu arrangement of her chosen forms and structures. In her print-works as much as in her installations, Apfelbaum combines numerous geometric and organic forms in vivid colors as she prepares them for their final presentation. Variations in layout, size and color then take place along the initial themes. With adaptability being a key component of her work, printing with woodblocks has become a dynamic method for exploring and further developing her long-standing printmaking practice in new directions that reflect her overall artistic intentions.
Apfelbaum’s artworks are zealously stimulating, leaving their audience with a lingering energy and inquisitiveness.
Polly Apfelbaum is represented by the influential Frith Street Gallery and Alexander Grey Associates. Works of hers feature in the MoMA in NY, the LACMA in LA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, and the Dallas Museum of Art amongst other notable institutions. She had a major mid-career retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, the Carlow Visual Center for Contemporary Art in Ireland, and Bepart in Belgium.