“I am a dyed-in-the-wool Abstractionist. I want the work to be exclusively experiential.”
Internationally-renowned for over forty years, Judy Pfaff continues to work with her boundless, personal lexicon of organic, decorative and geometric variations in sculpture, drawing and print works. Most readily recognized as a major artist in the field of installation, Pfaff brings her vision into form through works in all media with equal vigor and ground-breaking insight
Pfaff’s large-scale, intricately layered prints from the “Raga” series are simultaneously lush and delicate, created with multiple printmaking techniques such as woodcut and archival ink-jet with applications of colored silver leaf, hand-painted plastic film and hand-applied dyes on shellacked Kozo paper. Often Pfaff’s series develop from her lifelong travel adventures, including influential trips to China and India which inspired the featured series. The Sanskrit word raga - literally coloring or dyeing - is also a structure within classical East Indian music that allows for improvisation. The cross-discipline terminology well-suits Pfaff’s work as each piece exists within a sophisticated structure and is deeply reliant on the artist’s singular interpretation of abstraction. The dense surfaces of Pfaff’s series offer the stratified exposition of time and varying cultures experienced and envisioned by this undaunted and highly sensitive artist. The “Raga” prints deftly convey Pfaff’s mastery of materiality and exemplify her indominable risk-taking. Pfaff describes her work by saying: "I've been involved in making as compact visual structures as I could handle; weaving as many different languages in and out: 2-D, 3-D, architectural, metaphorical, allegorical, literal and abstract." Complex, alive and inspiring, the breadth of Judy Pfaff’s visual language continues to inspire and influence each new generation
London-born Judy Pfaff has an M.F.A. from Yale University, a B.F.A. from Washington University, St. Louis, and an honorary Doctorate from Pratt Institute. She has been the recipient of some of the highest honors in her field including: a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Art Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement Award, Anonymous Was A Woman Award, National Academy Award for Excellence in Sculpture, Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Fellowship, Nancy Graves Foundation Grant, the Dean’s Medal from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Southern Graphics Council International Conference Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Art and Letters, NY. Pfaff was invited into the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. In 1998, she was selected as the US representative to the Bienal de São Paulo. Her work is included in prestigious public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art, Albright-Knox Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, High Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Elvehjem Museum, Madison, WI, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sun Hwa Art and Culture Foundation, Seoul, Korea and the Sammlung Ludwig, in Aachen, Germany, among many others.