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Polly Apfelbaum, Basic Divisions

Dieu Donné
315 West 36th Street, 212-226-0573
Hell's Kitchen
October 13 - November 21, 2007
Reception: Saturday, October 13, 5 - 7 PM
Web Site

Polly Apfelbaum will present new and recent work, produced during the Dieu Donné Lab Grant residency for mid-career artists, in the first solo exhibition at the newly constructed gallery. A full-color publication with an essay by Susan Harris and a limited edition poster are available.

A brown-bag lunch conversation on Basic Divisions will be held Friday, November 2 at noon, featuring Polly Apfelbaum, Susan Harris, and Tara Ruth.

This year, Apfelbaum completed her Lab Grant residency, first initiated in 2002. While this three-year period generally exceeds the programmatic structure of the residency, the artistic staff’s dedication to creating resolved, mature work in handmade paper meant supporting Apfelbaum’s artistic exploration of the medium as it developed. The artist is noted for having pioneered her own lineage of the pop-art movement through floral imagery, signs, and symbols, present in her signature “floor paintings” and the exploration of various surface materials, notably crushed velvet.

Similar motifs were envisioned through her handmade paper works, capitalizing on the medium’s capacity for remarkably vibrant color. The artist embarked upon a number of long-term projects with Dieu Donné, including the publication of Power to the Flower, a variable edition of fifty handmade paper works developed in collaboration with artistic director, Paul Wong. Apfelbaum also explored collage techniques with translucent abaca and phosphorescent paper, as well as a range of complex hand-marbling techniques with graphite editions, from which the exhibition’s title stems.

About the artist

Polly Apfelbaum was born in 1955 in Abington, Pennsylvania. She attended SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, New York, and later earned her BFA at Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, in 1978. She lives and works in New York City. Polly Apfelbaum has been exhibiting internationally for nearly twenty years. A major mid-career survey of her work debuted at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 2003 and traveled to the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

Apfelbaum has held recent solo exhibitions at Frith Street Gallery, London, (2007); Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, (2007); Solvent Space, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, (2007); Galerie Nachst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria (2005); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, (2004); and Triple Candie, New York, (2003).

She has been featured in several recent group exhibitions, including Comic Abstraction and Lines, Grids, Stains, and Words, both at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, (2007); Pink, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Bombay, (2007); Welcoming the Flowers with John Giorno, Senior & Shopmaker, New York, (2007); Like Color in Pictures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, (2007); Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, (2005); The Shape of Colour, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, (2005); A Kind of Bliss, The Drawing Room, London, United Kingdom (2004).

Her work is in many important public collections, including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, The Henry Art Gallery, Washington; and The Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.

The artist has received important grants and awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship; the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship; the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Award; the Anonymous Was a Woman Award; and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.
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