×
Alexander Gray Associates

The Potential of Women

  • Polly Apfelbaum
  • 436eef71 1398 4a84 d7e1 38b82ae26fe5
    Polly Apfelbaum, The Potential of Women, 2017

Press for The Potential of Women

Current Exhibitions at Alexander Gray Associates


Heated Sky

  • Betty Parsons,
  • Opens: Feb. 26, 2020
  • Closes: Apr. 04, 2020
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Painted Sculpture

  • Melvin Edwards,
  • Opens: Oct. 24, 2019
  • Closes: Dec. 14, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Teresa Burga

  • Teresa Burga,
  • Opens: Sep. 05, 2019
  • Closes: Oct. 12, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Unrealized / Não feito

  • Regina Silveira,
  • Opens: Jun. 06, 2019
  • Closes: Jul. 12, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Count of Three

  • Polly Apfelbaum
  • Torkwase Dyson,
  • Sam Gilliam,
  • Carrie Moyer,
  • Ulrike Müller,
  • Odili Donald Odita,
  • Betty Parsons,
  • Jack Tworkov,
  • Opens: Apr. 18, 2019
  • Closes: May. 25, 2019
  • Reception: Apr. 18, 2019
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Doble Existencia / Double Existence

  • Ricardo Brey,
  • Opens: Feb. 28, 2019
  • Closes: Apr. 06, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

A Necessary Elaboration

  • Joan Semmel,
  • Opens: Jan. 10, 2019
  • Closes: Feb. 16, 2019
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Cutting Out CONYT

  • Lorraine O'Grady,
  • Opens: Oct. 25, 2018
  • Closes: Dec. 15, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Frank Bowling

  • Frank Bowling,
  • Opens: Sep. 06, 2018
  • Closes: Oct. 13, 2018
  • Reception: Sep. 06, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Nullities of Life

  • Hugh Steers,
  • Opens: Jun. 06, 2018
  • Closes: Jul. 20, 2018
  • Reception: Jun. 06, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Inappropriate Longings

  • Harmony Hammond,
  • Opens: Apr. 19, 2018
  • Closes: May. 26, 2018
  • Reception: Apr. 19, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Stirring Wirds

  • Kay Rosen,
  • Opens: Feb. 22, 2018
  • Closes: Apr. 07, 2018
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Semi Systems

  • Hassan Sharif,
  • Opens: Jan. 04, 2018
  • Closes: Feb. 10, 2018
  • Reception: Jan. 04, 2018
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Neither Here Nor There

  • Valeska Soares,
  • Opens: Nov. 01, 2017
  • Closes: Dec. 16, 2017
  • Reception: Nov. 01, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

The Potential of Women

  • Polly Apfelbaum
  • Opens: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Closes: Oct. 21, 2017
  • Reception: Sep. 07, 2017
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

Invisible Presence

  • Betty Parsons,
  • Opens: May. 25, 2017
  • Closes: Jul. 28, 2017
  • Reception:
  • Hours: 6 - 8pm
  • Admission: free

When

Sep 07 - Oct 21, 2017

  • Reception: Sep 07, 6 - 8pm

Where

Alexander Gray Associates

  • 510 West 26th Street, New York NY 10001 Map
  • 212.399.2636

About

Alexander Gray Associates presents Polly Apfelbaum: The Potential of Women, the artist’s first exhibition at the Gallery. The exhibition features all new work, including gouache drawings, hand-woven rugs, and wall-mounted ceramics. The key visual motif comes from the 1963 book, The Potential of Woman, published in conjunction with a symposium of the same name.

Apfelbaum draws inspiration from graphic designer Rudolph deHarek’s cover design for The Potential of Woman, which features a flattened, stylized view of a female figure’s head. Her appropriation of this image, chosen as an icon, is consistent with her ongoing interest in applied design and popular culture. Apfelbaum was also fascinated by the book’s provocative and ultimately patronizing message. The book and its related symposium imagined a future in which women might be useful contributors; Apfelbaum instead reflects the desire for a broader appreciation and empowerment of legions of capable women in the present. In the exhibition’s title, Apfelbaum changes the word ‘woman’ to ‘women’ to reinforce an inclusive communal narrative around feminism.

In the second floor Gallery, the artist has created an immersive environment, in which she occupies and transforms the entire space with four rugs, painted walls, and dozens of wall-mounted ceramics. Critic Christopher Knight has described her similarly expansive 2016 installation at Otis College of Art as a “secular chapel of abstract art,” an association that Apfelbaum invites. The rugs, the central element of the installation, deploy deHarek’s graphic design in orange, pink, tan, and black; they were woven in Oaxaca by Zapotec artisans indigenous to the region using their traditional weaving and dying methods. The walls are painted in large horizontal stripes of orange, pink, and white, matching the tones used in the original book cover. Intimately-scaled abstract ceramic portraits are hung around the walls to mimic what the artist describes as a a participatory audience for the work, much like “a Greek Chorus that gives voice to the performance.” Apfelbaum has depicted another crowd of women in polychromatic gouache drawings installed on the ground floor of Gallery. She renders the same face appropriated from the cover of The Potential of Woman in a variety of sizes, and color spectrums, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. Her use of vibrant dense pigment here is a tribute to Josef Albers’ landmark book on color theory, Interaction of Color, also printed in 1963, emblematic of her fusion of of pop-cultural and art historic references.

With the recurrent aesthetic of accumulation and diverse color saturations, Apfelbaum expands the visuals of the political landscapes surrounding the 2017 election and its resulting activism. Collectively, her densely populated drawings, row of ceramics, pay homage to the recent resurgent prominence of women’s marches and enforce the power of community to engage in collective action and activism.


Top