Polly Apfelbaum (b. 1955, Pennsylvania) is a contemporary artist who has achieved great success through her paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations. Eschewing what she calls the “big, macho structure” of the canvas, Apfelbaum is best known for her brilliantly hued installations. 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.


Receiving her BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania, Apfelbaum has consistently exhibited since her first solo show in 1986. She is the recipient of several major grants and awards, including the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. The artist’s work is held in numerous collections including, but not limited to: the Brooklyn Museum (New York), Dallas Museum of Art, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Museum of Modern Art (New York), MOCA Chicago, and National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C.). She continues to live and work in New York City.