Polly Apfelbaum: A Handweaver’s Pattern Book at Clifton Benevento Gallery
New York abstract artist, Polly Apfelbaum, is currently showing an installation at the Clifton Benevento Gallery of 50 colorful weaver’s “pattern swatches”. However, these are hardly reminiscent of a standard pattern book that invites careful consideration and constant touching. The 50 “swatches” are hung on the wall with the droop and drape of a sad party banner. Their colors are not sad however. On the contrary, they are quite bright and exciting.
Upon closer inspection, you notice that these patterns haven’t been woven at all but are almost perfectly painted. The material, synthetic white velvet, leads the pattern and colors to bleed while almost giving them the feel of a cheap Ikat weave that was made for a large, fast-fashion corporation. They appear manufactured, but also hold the spirit and truth of their handmade origins.
Image Credits: Clifton Benevento Gallery
After seeing an older project of Apfelbaum’s at the Mumbai Art Room last year in India, it’s fun to see her current work has the same playful air. The day I saw her show, I had been walking all over the city with a super talented painter friend of mine looking for promising connections. Besides a fantastic show of the wonderful South African artist, William Kentridge (way out of our league), most of the work we saw was pretty mundane. Until we came across a little gallery filled with Apfelbaum’s “Feelies”. I immediately signed up for their mailing list.
Apfelbaum describes these works in such a poignant way:
[Quote from Second that Emotion Press Release via Mumabi Art Room]
A Weaver’s Pattern Book ends on August 8th! If you are around SOHO this week, go check out this show. I hope you feel inspired.
Clifton Benevento Gallery is located at 515 Broadway between Broome and Spring streets, New York; summer hours are 11am – 6pm, Tuesday through Friday.