Polly Apfelbaum, ‘Type’, 2011, Maharam
Polly Apfelbaum, ‘Type’, 2011, Maharam

Type is composed of more than one hundred dingbats, the typographical ornaments originally used by letterpress printers to break up text or decorate a page. They are arranged in a gradation based on a turn-of-the-century palette from Dutch art supply manufacturer Talens. First claimed as pop art in a 1968 screen print by Andy Warhol, dingbats are a recurring motif in Polly Apfelbaum's work.

Series: Maharam Digital Projects

Image rights: © 2011 Polly Apfelbaum, Maharam under license

About Polly Apfelbaum

Since the 1980s, Polly Apfelbaum has been filling galleries, museums, and public spaces with a riot of colors composed into exuberant, keenly intelligent works that are simultaneously paintings, sculptures, and installations. Eschewing what she calls the “big, macho structure” of the canvas, Apfelbaum is best known for her brilliantly hued floor pieces, composed of patches and strips of hand-dyed fabrics (often velvet) arranged into abstract forms that stretch and blossom underfoot. She also works with Plasticine, clay, inkjet prints, and, occasionally, found objects. Inspired by Outsider Art, feminism, everyday life, and the expressive qualities of color, Apfelbaum celebrates the exquisite command of color in Abstract Expressionism, while also rejecting its aggressive masculinity. With playful wit, she upends traditional notions of women’s work, presenting fabric forms shaped by intellectual and artistic rigor, full of an engaging depth and richness.

American, b. 1955, Abington, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

Polly Apfelbaum: Color Notes

Group Shows

Free Fall: Lynda Benglis & Polly Apfelbaum
New York,
Heiner Contemporary, 
STASH: Polly Apfelbaum, Ingrid Calame, Tara Donovan, Deborah Kass, Kate Shepherd, Jon-Phillip Sheridan and Austin Thomas
National Academy of Design, 
New York, NY, United States,
179th Annual Exhibition
View Artist's CV