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Polly Apfelbaum
Face (Geometry) Naked (Eyes)
Recommendation by Jody Zellen


Polly Apfelbaum, “Face (Geometry)(Naked) Eyes,” 2016, installation currently on view at Otis College.

"Face (Geometry) Naked (Eyes)" is a stunning and ambitious installation by New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum. Apfelbaum is known for her unusual presentations, which often include displaying work on the floor. In this installation she fills both walls and floors with intriguing pieces that work in concert with each other. Her desire was to create a work that references "time travel from early pagan mysticism, to 1970s new spiritualism to Alejandro Jordorowsky's 1973 film 'Holy Mountain' in the space of a rug filled gallery." Four bright yellow, 13 by 25 foot rugs created in collaboration with weavers in Oxaxaca, Mexico cover the gallery's floor. These rugs support abstract compositions that allude to the body — specifically eyes, as within the yellow background is an eye-shaped white area with a bright orange center. The yellow tonalities in the rugs gets repeated as a wide horizontal stripe across the gallery walls. One hundred ceramic platters are hung as a freize within this yellow area, each a unique abstract composition. Hand-crafted red beads hang from the ceiling from yellow thread and hover just above the floor. The immersive installation is an inviting space where viewers, if they take off their shoes, are welcome to linger. Apfelbaum succeeds in transforming the gallery into an uplifting and contemplative space.

Otis College of Art and Design, Ben Maltz Gallery

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