Color is the key element in Polly Apfelbaum’s work, both visually and structurally. She is known for her palette of stunning, eye-popping colors and hues. Often arranged in sprawling configurations that appear to be organically inspired, these works transform the colors of mass culture.
Like abstract paintings that melted off the wall and formed vibrant puddles, her arrangements of irregularly shaped rounds, diamonds and ovals coalesce with the physical presence of sculpture, while maintaining painting’s sense of vibrancy. Dusk red blobs fan rows of yellow leaves; teardrop shapes of black nudge indigo forms resembling paramecium, single-cells, or algae blooms. One of the most original artists working today, Apfelbaum's painting pushes past its traditional disciplinary forms, off the wall, and into pop culture. Apfelbaum's work calls for audiences to think about the pleasure of aesthetic experience - and to experience the pleasure of aesthetics.
Polly Apfelbaum has had one-person museum exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her solo exhibitions were held at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis and the Paine Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. The ICA Philadelphia organized a 2003 retrospective that traveled to the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati and the Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO. The artist's work is in numerous museum collections including MoMA, the Whitney Museum of Art, L.A. County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art and Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.