Frith Street

Polly Apfelbaum

29 Jun - 17 Aug 2007


Frith Street Gallery is pleased to announce the first one-person exhibition of New York artist Polly Apfelbaum in the UK.

Apfelbaum's work consists primarily of large-scale installations which cover vast portions of museum or gallery floors. Described by the artist as "fallen paintings" these works are hybrids, poaching in fields already seemingly well defined, twisting categories into different forms. As critic Lane Reylea has written: "Apfelbaum's work is both painting and sculpture, and perhaps photography and fashion and formless material process as well. It is all these things-wildly so and wildly not so."

Apfelbaum's installations are highly ephemeral in nature; at the end of an exhibition the pieces are dismantled - never to be reconstituted in the same way again. She embraces the phenomenological effects of Minimal and post-Minimal art but is equally concerned with the power of colour to produce emotion. In this series, there is a greater concern with the graphic quality of drawing, the arc of the hand, the liquidity of the stain and the weight of the line.

The two floor based works in this exhibition almost fill the entire gallery. "The Painted Desert" runs the full length of the space. This piece is composed of square sections of fabric in orange and pink, each square a separate painting covered with abstract black expressionistic lines in different geometric compositions. The colour shifts as the viewer walks along the edge of the work. A "cheap magic" from dark to light is created by the direction of the nap of the fabric. The other piece in the gallery, "Green Space" takes the form of a wedge of lurid green fabric described by the artist as a monochromatic, artificial, glowing, urban flower patch.

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