artist / participant
Gun Club, with its explosive eruption of color, takes its title from an early 80's LA punk band. Several of the pieces from her new series are named for punk bands: Single Gun Theory, Black Flag and Gun Club. In these works, Apfelbaum is looking to conjure a similarly experimental, reckless, improvisational energy.
The more bold and aggressive nature of works from this series is a reaction against the geometry and meditative quality of works such as Crazy Green/Bruised Orange, which was the first of her series of highly structured circular pieces, and the Powerpuff works. The new work is looser, and the structure is less obvious. The arrangements are more dynamic; it's more about expansion and contraction of the space. This is not to say that it is unstructured-rather that structure is more in the individual pieces and the color relations. For Apfelbaum, cutting is drawing, and therefore these pieces are more about line, profile and irregular shapes.
Kirk Vernadoe wrote about MoMA's recent acquisition of Apfelbaum's work: "Polly Apfelbaum's Blossom (2000)is what the artist likes to call a "fallen painting" - a mosaiclike array of hundreds of quatrefoil swatches of variously dyed velvet, forming on the floor a spiral approximately eighteen feet in diameter. The "fallen" most obviously refers to the descent of colored fabric from a frame on the wall into a zone we normally think of as occupied by floor-hugging sculptures of metal or industrial scrap, by artists such as Carl Andre or Richard Serra. But in its quasi-theological sense, as in "fallen Angel", the word may also refer to a move from the realm of the ethereal grace into one of earthly pleasures. This association would make sense in terms of the works utterly unabashed, technicolor engagement with prettiness and decorative beauty, "eye candy" compared to the self-consciously masculine austerity of those other floor sculptures."
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Polly Apfelbaum: Gun Club