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Polly Apfelbaum

Haunted House

June 16–July 22, 2012

I wanted to bring them into existence: scrap book pages, images of children’s forgotten art projects, photos of trips taken, toys, Noah’s ark, domestic goods lost or left behind, family pets, and things that just happen to appear: snakes, deviled eggs, and other images that provoke a general life-story.

– Polly Apfelbaum, 2012


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Perhaps the most engaging characteristic of ‘T’ Space is the element of surprise. The artists are given total freedom to design an exhibition for the space. Installation artist Polly Apfelbaum’s Haunted House was inspired by a house thought to be haunted near her home in the Hudson Valley. It included hundreds of collected images hung floor to ceiling throughout the main space of the gallery, as well as related clay sculptures.

— Barbara Rose, 2013


The first major encounter I had with Polly’s work was at the opening of our Kiasma Museum in Helsinki on May 31, 1998. One of the large double height galleries was given to Polly and she brilliantly installed a large floor work — easily invigorating that entire cubic space […] In the show Polly made for ‘T’ Space, fragments are found on the internet — a placeless place — and here are remade. It is an honor and thrill to continue riding in the clouds of her scattering spirit.

– Steven Holl, 2012


Since the 1980s, Polly Apfelbaum (b. 1955, Abington, Pennsylvania) 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. Apfelbaum is now based in New York, New York.

Accompanying Events

Exhibition Catalogue

Polly Apfelbaum: Haunted House


An exhibition catalog featuring interactive installations by Polly Apfelbaum at ‘T’Space in Rhinebeck, NY.

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