Polly Apfelbaum (American b.1955) is an installation and mixed media artist, best known for her "fallen paintings," which transcend the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. She is also known for her creative use of color, shape, and form. The artist often works through pieces of dyed fabric arranged on the floor to give the impression that abstract paintings have fallen off the walls and arranged themselves on the floor. Although noted for her playfulness and wit, Apfelbaum also tackles more weighty subjects, such as feminism and popular culture. Born in Abington, PA, Apfelbaum studied at the Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania and SUNY Purchase College in New York.

The artist began her professional career in New York, with her first solo show in 1986. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, she contributed to a number of significant group exhibitions, such as Sense and Sensibility: Women and Minimalism in the 90s, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, (1995), Painting Outside Painting, at the 44th Corcoran Painting Biennial, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C. (1996), and Painting-The Extended Field, at Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden, (1997).

Moving into the 20th century, Apfelbaum has regularly been featured in solo exhibitions such as Resonance, at Frith Street Gallery, London, UK (2006), but she also continues to contribute to group exhibitions such as Comic Abstraction: Image Breaking, Image Making, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. In 2003, the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia featured a mid-career retrospective of her work, which went on tour in 2004. Her work has also been collected by major museums in the United States, such as The Museum of Modern of Art, in New York, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Dallas Museum of Art. Along with the architects Stanley Allen (American b.1956), Jesse Reiser (American b.1958), and Nanko Umemoto (American), Apfelbaum founded the architectural group RAAUm. She is currently represented by D'Amelio Terras (D'Amelio Terras Gallery). Apfelbaum lives and works in New York.


Born in Abington, PA
BFA, Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA
SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
Residency Fellowship, The Millay Colony
Residency Fellowship, Ucross Foundation
Artist Grant, Artist Space
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
Residency Fellowship, The MacDowell Colony
John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture
Residency Felowship, Yaddo
Artist's Fellowship (Sculpture), NY Foundation for the Arts
Anonymous Was A Woman Grant
Joan Mitchell Grant
Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship
Lives and works in New York


Untitled (hybrid) - Robert Miller Gallery, New York City, NY
Wit - The Painting Center, New York City, NY
Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Polly Apfelbaum - Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, CA
Super Vision - Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
New Prints 2011/Autumn - International Print Center New York, New York City, NY
Off Colour, D’Amelio Terras, New York, NY (solo)
Mini-Hollywood, Yellowstone Art Museum, MT (solo)
Color Notes, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
It’s All American, NJ MOCA, NJ
Anguish, Downtown Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN
The Jewel Thief, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Polly Apfelbaum / Nicole Cherubini: Studiowork, D’Amelio Terras, New York, NY
After the Volcano, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK
Not Extractions, But Abstractions (Part 2), Clifton Benevento Gallery, New York, NY
Wild Things, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark
Dr. Zomb, Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ
75 Seconds: Selected Polaroid Projects, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA
Better Half, Better Twelfth, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE
Hecate’s Lab, Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY
Black Vegas and Fools Gold, Naomi Arin Contemporary Art, Las Vegas, NV (solo)
Anything can happen in a horse race, Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (solo)
Stax, Inaugural Show, VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, Ireland
Topographies, Albright-Knox, Buffalo, NY
Besides, With, Against and Yet – Abstraction and the Ready-made Gesture, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Blocks of Color – American Woodcuts from the 1890’s to the Present, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, NJ
Painting and its Surroundings, Palacio de Sastago, Spain
Floor and Wall Wall and Window, Helmhaus, Zurich, Switzerland
Monichromes 2003-2007, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Notations: The Closing Decade, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Lines, Grids, Stains, Words, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany
Hair of the Dog, Centre for Contemporary, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
Flower Power: A subversive Botanical, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
Basic Divisions, Dieu Donnè, New York, NY (solo)
Love Sculpture, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Lovecraft, Solvent Space, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (solo)
Love Street, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Pink, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India
Conversations, Travesia Cuatro, Madrid, Spain
Comic Abstraction: Image Breaking, Image Making, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Like Color in Pictures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Flags of Revolt and Defiance, Print Publishers Spotlight: The Leroy Nieman Center for Print Studies Columbia University, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
Resonance, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK
Zeigen. Eine Audiotour, Galerie Nächst St. Stephen, Vienna, Austria
Contemporary Masterworks: St. Louis Collects, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO
The Big Picture in the Small Gallery, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Garden, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA
Selections from the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies-Columbia University, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY
Print Run: An exhibition of Prints, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK
Cartoon Garden, D’Amelio Terras, New York, NY (solo)
Good and Plenty, Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Resis-tances Hommage a Remy Zaugg Fonds, Regional d’art Contemporain, Montpellier, France
Eccentric Modern The Foundation To-Life, Inc., Mount Kisco, New York, NY
Frontiers: Collecting the Art of Our Time, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Very Early Pictures, Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles, CA; travels to Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glenside, PA Polly Apfelbaum, Katherina Grosse, Karin Sander, Jessica Stockholder Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria
The Shape of Color, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
One-Armed Bandit, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY
In the Abstract, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
30 Ways to Make a Painting, Carl Solway Gallery, Cinncinnatti,OH
Color/Pattern/Grid: Selections from the Austin Museum of Art, The Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX
POPulence, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland OH; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston- Salem, NC
Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Crazy Love, Love Crazy, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, curated by Shannon Fitzgerald (solo)
Lodz Biennale, Lodz, Poland
Live Forever, or Die Trying (manic abstract painting now), Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, curated by Twan Janssen, October 16 - November 20
Soft Edge, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, curated by Staci Boris
Cakewalk, Ambrrosino Gallery, Miami, FL, curated by Jen DeNike
Flowers Observed, Flowers Transformed, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Optimo: Manifestations of Optimism in Contemporary Art, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX
The 179th Annual:An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, New York, NY
Settlements, Musee d'art Moderne, La Terrasse, Saint-Etienne, France, curated by Lorand Heygi
Kunst Stoff, Galerie Nachst St. Stephan, Vienna, Austria
A Kind of Bliss, The Drawing Room, London, UK, organized by Kate McFarlane, et al; travels to Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
What Does Love Have To Do With It? Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, curated by Lisa Tung
Polly Apfelbaum (mid-career survey), Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2- July 27; travels to Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, December 5- February 29; Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri June 4- September 5 (solo)
Today I Love Everybody, Triple Candie, Harlem, Harlem, NY (solo)
Endless Love, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
Hands to Work, Mind to Art, Borusan Foundation for Art and Culture, Turkey
Hover: Polly Apfelbaum and Pae White, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
3-2-1, Gallery M, New York, NY
Celebrating Sculpture: Modern and Contemporary Works from Dallas Collections, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Hover: Polly Apfelbaum and Pae White, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
Plingeling, Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden
NYPD: New York Pattern & Decoration, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, curated by Michael Duncan
Rendered, Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, NY
Bienal de Valencia, various locations, Valencia, Spain
My Mother is an Artist, Ernest Rubenstein Gallery at The Eductional Alliance, New York, NY
Splat, Boom, Pow: The Influence of Cartoons on Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
Stop & Go, FRAC Nord-Pa de Calais, Dunkerque, France
Gun Club, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Support/Surface Prescient: Then and Now, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Program, Long Island City, NY, curated by Saul Ostrow
Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
Polly Apfelbaum and Beatriz Milhazes, D'Amelio Terras, New York. Sprawl, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, curated by Sue Spaid
Spookie Knowledge, Pearl, London, UK
Kraft Puffar Kammare rot System, Skulpturens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
Officina America, Galeria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy
The Eye of the Beholder, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Points, Lines, Plans, Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris, France (solo))
Patterns: Between Object and Arabesque, Kunsthallen Brandts Kladefabrik, Denmark (solo)
Operativo, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico. Sculpture as Field, Kunstverein Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany (solo)
The Return of the Real: A Selection from the Daniel Hechter Art Collection, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (solo)
All About Paint, The University of Memphis Art Museum, Memphis,TN (solo)
Waterworks: U.S.Akvarell 2001, Nordiska Akvarellmeseet, Skarhamn, Sweden, curated by Kim Levi (solo)
As Painting: Division and Displacement, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (solo)
Drawing, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Objective Color, Yale University Art Gallery, CT (solo)
Making the Making, curated by Charles Goldman, Apex Art, New York, NY (solo)
Points, Lines, Plans, Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris, France
Six Contemporary Artists, Clifford Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
Best of Season, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Patterns: Between Object and Arabesque, Kunsthallen Brandts Kladefabrik, Denmark
Operativo, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico
Sculpture as Field, Kunstverein Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany
Powerpuff, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY (solo)
Skin and Bones, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine (solo)
Crazy Green, Bruised Orange, Karyn Lovegrove, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Painting Pushed to Extremes, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Paint Land, curated by Terry R. Myers, Lemon Sky Project, Los Angeles, CA
Live From New York, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Painting Function: Making It Real, SPACES, Cleveland, OH
soft corner hard edge, Blackwood Gallery, The University of Toronto at Mississauga. Traveling to Galerie Christiane Chassay, Montreal, Quebec
Flying Hearts, Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo, Brazil (solo)
Chromaform: Color in Sculpture, curated by Frances Colpitt, Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art, Las Vegas, NV
The Body in Question: Tracing, Displacing, and Remaking the Human Figure in Contemporary Art, Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
Neither/Nor, Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO
Postmark: An Abstract Effect, curated by Louis Grachos and Bruce W. Ferguson, Site Santa Fe, NM
Hindsight, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Reckless, Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art NYKY, Helsinki, Finland (solo)
Ice, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY (solo)
Everyday, organized by Jonathan Watkins, 11th Biennale of Sydney, Australia
Colorfields, curated by David Pagel, Luckman Fine Arts Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Polly Apfelbaum and Tony Feher, Koyanagi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Abstract Painting, Once Removed, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, Traveled onto The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art andDesign, Kansas City, MO
Humble County, D'Amelio Terras, New York, NY
Painting Objectives, Galerie Evelyne Canus, FranceDecorative Strategies, The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Spatiotemporal, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konstall, Stockholm, Sweden
Alternative Measures, curated by Susan M. Canning, College of New Rochelle, NYHomemade Champagne, organized by David Pagel, Claremont Graduate University, CA
Conversations: Polly Apfelbaum and Lynn McCarty, Art Resources Transfer Inc., New York, NY
The Night, Walter/McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Floor Drawing, Realismusstudio der NGBK, Künstlerhaus Am Acker, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Polly Apfelbaum/Lucky Debellevue, Dalarnas Museum, Falun, Sweden. Simple Form, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Hanging By A Thread, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Divergent Models, curated by Saul Ostrow, Nassauischer Kunstverei Weisbaden e.V., Germany
Other, 4th Biennale D'art Contemporain de Lyon, France, curated by Harald Szeemann
Women's Work: Examining the Feminine in Contemporary Painting, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
Sculpture, James Graham & Sons, New York, NY
Onomatopoeia, curated by Anthony Iannacci, Studio La Cittá, Verona, Italy
Fashion Moda, curated by Lisa Marks, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
1996 Eclipse, Boesky & Gallery Fine Arts, New York, NY (solo)
Painting - The Extended Field, Magasin 3 Stockholm, Sweden (catalogue). Traveled to Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo, Sweden. Der Fleck, curated by Dr. Peter Flunken, Galerie Im Kornerpark, Berlin, Germany
Painting In An Expanding Field, curated by Saul Ostrow, Bennington College, Bennington, VT
The Kingdom of Flora, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Wallworks and Drawings, Hirschl and Adler Modern, New York, NY (solo)
Painting Outside Painting, 44th Corcoran Painting Biennial, curated by Terri Sultan, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.
Skew: Un-Ruly Painting, Gallery 400, The University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
Raw, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY
Tampering: Artists and Abstraction Today, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Permanent Collection Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Color: sign, system, sensibility, Stark Gallery, New York, NY
30th Anniversary of the Israel Museum, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Pittura-immedia, Neue Galerie am Lndesmuseum Joanneum Graz, Austria
D.I.Y., curated by Paul Ha, White Columns, New York, NY
The Social Fabric, Beaver College Gallery, Glenside, PA
Sense and Sensibility: Women and Minimalism in the 90's, curated by Lynn Zelevansky, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Wonderbread, Galerie Etienne Ficheroulle, Brussels (solo)
Polly Apfelbaum/Tony Feher/Claudia Matzko, Patrick Callery Gallery, New York, NY
Legend In My Living Room, curated by Terry R. Myers, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
Empty Dress: Clothing as Surrogate in Recent Art, curated by Nina Felshin. Traveling exhibition 1993-1996,organized and circulated by ICI, New York, NY
Future Perfect, curated by Dan Cameron, Heiligenkreuuzerhof, Vienna, Austria
Yours, curated by Michael Jenkins, Wooster Gardens, New York
The Blot on my Bonnet, Amy Lipton Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Anti-Masculine..., curated by Bill Arning, Kim Light Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Mssr. B's Curio Shop, curated by Saul Ostrow, Threadwaxing Space, New York, NY
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, curated by Terry Myers, Amy Lipton Gallery, New York, NY
Level World, Galerie Etienne Ficheroulle, Brussels (solo)
The Constellation of the Dart, Sue Spaid Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Plastic Fantastic Lover, objet a, curated by Catherine Liu, BlumHelman Warehouse, New York, NY
When objects dream and talk in their sleep, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY
Wives’ Tales, Amy Lipton Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
The Language of Flowers, Special Projects, P.S.1, Long Island City, New York, NY (solo)
All Quiet on the Western Front, Galerie Antoine Candau, Paris, France
A Force of Repetition, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
Je Viens de Chez le Charcutier..., Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France
The Daisy Chain, Loughelton Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
The Somnambulist, Loughelton Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Still Lives, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY (solo)
Wood Work, Paulo Salvador Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

Public Collections

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, NE
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
FRAC - Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE
The Progressive Art Collection, Mayfield Village, OH
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY


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