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Polly Apfelbaum: Dubuffet's Feet My Hands at Frith Street Gallery

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Frith Street Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of new works by Polly Apfelbaum. This exhibition is the latest in a series of installations that incorporate hand-woven carpets, ceramics, drawings, and immersive colour. Each one is structured around thematic references: art-historical, place, or popular culture. These installations work simultaneously with architecture, colour, and form; they encourage the viewer to actively engage with the work in space. For this installation, Apfelbaum worked with weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico, where the Zapotec people have been weaving textiles for over 2,000 years. Entitled Dubuffet's Feet, these floor works are based on a small drawing titled Footprints in the Sand by Jean Dubuffet from his 1948 sketchbook El Golea II, which the artist saw at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Apfelbaum has translated the image into a series of hand-woven rugs, each depicting an enormous footprint of a figure who would be over 100 feet tall. There are four carpets, two with left feet and two with right, aligned as parallel pairs, implying the trace of two giants. While Apfelbaum's carpets are woven in earth tones that may evoke the 1970s, they also correspond with the sand in which Dubuffet's footprints may have been left, and thus the natural landscape. Enlarged far beyond human scale, Apfelbaum's imprints monumentalise an intentional awkwardness. The parallel series My Hands has evolved from Apfelbaum's ongoing experiments with glazed ceramics. They take their inspiration from the 'floating hand of God' in the mosaics of the basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, which she visited during a residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2013. Apfelbaum was fascinated by this image of the disembodied hand as the symbol of creation and intervention. Apfelbaum has used her own hand as a template for these works, creating a relationship to the artist's touch while also dealing with ideas about craft and making, from prehistoric times to children's pre-school handprints.

Venue Details & Map

Frith Street Gallery

Address
Golden Square
London
W1F 9JJ
Telephone:
0207494 1550
Email
Website
http://www.frithstreetgallery.com

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