Artist: Polly Apfelbaum
Venue: Clifton Benevento, New York
Exhibition Title: A Handweaver’s Pattern Book
Date: May 31 – August 8, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Clifton Benevento, New York
Clifton Benevento is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Polly Apfelbaum. Drawing upon early forms of technology, A Handweaver’s Pattern Book unfolds throughout the gallery in a sweeping installation of new drawings that operate in the intersection of the handmade and manufactured textiles.
From Jacquard looms to mechanical instruments and computer programs to voting machines; punch cards have operated as processing systems within the experimental and evidential. Marked vertical lines and grids produce a scaffolding for positioned and punched holes that frequently correspond to numerical and lettered data. These visual operating systems often resemble optical abstract compositions.
Polly Apfelbaum’s fifty ink-on-rayon synthetic velvet panels, unite the abstract and the serial through meditations on the potential of chaos through a lens of systematic gestures. Drawing from utilitarian weaving patterns, domestic traditions, and intuitive mark making, Apfelbaum made use of a found plastic punch card to fabricate these drawings. The artist’s hand is made visible through the application of color, which while deliberately and methodically executed, takes on a softer focus as it interacts with the fabric. The ink bleeds and clings creating clouds of stains, which both isolate and saturate neighboring dots. These dot screens utilize color, which produces and challenges the intentional patterns, which fluctuates between disruption, blur and intentional order.
Patterns emerge from within the greater framework. The repetitive arrangements offer a vibrational experience further enhanced by the deliberate hanging of the drawings, which invoke the fluid quality of the fabric through the architecture of the gallery. As individual panels, they hang, sag, pull, and ripple; but the whole ensemble also functions as an installation, with the walls entirely covered and the space punctuated by delicate hanging works. These threaded ceramic beads hang from the piping specific to the gallery’s architecture accessing both the dimensions of the space and the spontaneous imperfections of the handmade. A Handweaver’s Pattern Book produces an overall constellation, turning the-Kate McNamara
Polly Apfelbaum has mounted 2014 solo exhibitions including “Color Stations,” Lumber Room, OR; “Evergreen Blue Shoes,” Burlington Art Center, VT; “For the Love of Gene Davis (with Dan Cole),” Temple Contemporary, PA; and recent group shows “Americana,” Perez Art Museum, FL (2014) and “Regarding Warhol,” Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012). A mid-career survey of Apfelbaum’s work opened in 2003 at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. The exhibition traveled through 2004, and was accompanied by a catalogue. Apfelbaum was the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize. Her work is held in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Modern of Art, NY; and Whitney Museum of Art of American Art, among others.