D’Amelio Terras is pleased to present Off Colour, its fourth solo exhibition of work by artist Polly Apfelbaum and her first major show in New York City in over five years. In this new body of work, Apfelbaum cuts and arranges sequined stretch fabric on-site to create a floor-based installation that responds specifically to the gallery’s space and architecture. A departure from previous bodies of work, where Apfelbaum cuts and dyes fabric in her studio to be laid out in predetermined arrangements, this temporal installation is “situational,” being born of and only able to exist within the physical space of its original conceptualization. The artist improvises, in real time with the scraps and leftovers of the cutting process. Here, Apfelbaum’s practice teeters on the edge of performance, as she focuses on “the event of making” while deemphasizing the permanence of emerging artwork.
Amplified colors and abstract forms enable painting and sculpture to merge in an open environment. Apfelbaum cuts her material, creating lines in space that circumscribe the viewer’s path through reflective configurations of glittery pink, green, red and gold. The simplicity of her hard-edged forms illuminates the visual significance of the negative space that separates them. What the artist calls “automatic abstraction” emerges from the interplay between presence, void and color. As in much of her past work, the show’s palette is a found system of color, this time being loosely based on a group of slides Apfelbaum found at Spitalfields Market in London. The sequined fabric both relates to Apfelbaum’s interest in pop culture and ordinary, cheap material, while it also distills formal qualities as the individual disk-shaped beads reflect and refract light, creating endless visual possibilities for the viewer.
Polly Apfelbaum was recently included in exhibitions at the Carlow Visual Center for Contemporary Art in Carlow, Ireland; The Kitchen, New York, NY; Helmhaus in Zurich, Switzerland; Palacio de Sastago, Zaragoza, Spain; and Milton Keynes Gallery in Milton Keynes, England. Apfelbaum will participate in an upcoming group exhibition at the Memphis College of Art in October of 2010, and she is currently featured in exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA and the Kunsthallen Brandts in Odense, Denmark. Selected public collections include: The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.