On View: Polly Apfelbaum @ Locks Gallery


Installation of Polly Apfelbaum and Lynda Benglis at Locks Gallery. Image Courtesy of Joseph Hu and Locks Gallery

Locks Gallery – June 12, 2015 – July 24, 2015

Polly Apfelbaum joins Lynda Benglis in an exhibition, Free Fallat Locks Gallery, Philadelphia. The show includes Apfelbaum’s floor installations, along with two large-scale woodblock monoprints, Baroque Time Machine 4 and Rusticiana, which were printed and published with Durham Press.

Beaufort Triennial – June 21, 2015 – September 21, 2015

The 5th edition of Beaufort Triennial entitled Beyond Borders features Apfelbaum, along with a selection of artists, architects, designers, musicians, poets, and writers who showcase work in various public spaces along the Belgium coast.

Museum of Arts & Design – April 28, 2015 – September 30, 2015

An exhibition featuring over 100 works of art, Pathmakers, highlights women’s influence in postwar visial art through textiles, ceramics, and metal. The show focuses on the modern craft movement of the 1950’s.


New Release: Polly Apfelbaum | Time Machine Series

Byzantine Time Machine 4

Byzantine Time Machine 4 | 2014, Woodblock Monoprint, 37 x 70 inches

Durham Press is pleased to present a new series of woodblock prints by Polly Apfelbaum. Inspired, in part, by her time spend abroad as a recipient of the 2012-13 Rome Prize, these profound works reference the artistic and craft traditions of Italy and offer fresh perspectives on many themes that Apfelbaum has explored throughout her career.

Baroque Time Machine and Byzantine Time Machine are monoprint series in two sizes, 37 x 70 inches and 79 x 79 inches, which feature powerful, vertical lines. Their titles simultaneously suggest backward and forward temporal movement, signaling historical influences and new aesthetic directions. While the compositions of the two series recall some of her rug and fabric works, the addition of black – used sparingly in some prints and frequently in others – creates a more complex color palette and gives the prints “the weight of drapery,” says Apfelbaum. Conversely, the contrast provided by black ink makes certain colors radiate with fluorescent-light-like intensity.

The fluorescence of the dramatic monoprints is further emphasized by Apfelbaum’s employment of split fountain or “rainbow roll” techniques, in which multiple colors are partially mixed to achieve a continuous gradient effect. In the Time Machines, she features rainbow rolls across elongated surfaces, while with her large, diamond monoprints – Galla Placidia, Boethius, Rusticiana, Servilia Caeponis, Aurelia Cotta, Porcia Catonis – the technique is used on much smaller woodblocks. Inspired by the intricate patterns of Cosmati floors, the matrixes for these complex diamond prints are similarly crafted with roughly 1500 hand-laid, mosaic-like blocks. The geometric and chromatic variations throughout the prints give them a dynamism befitting of their titles, most of which refer to influential Roman women. Apfelbaum’s two new editions, Emperor Twist and Empress Shout, engage a similar diamond and zig-zag pattern on a more intimate scale. Completed after the Cosmati-inspired monoprints, Twist and Shout continue to explore variations in color and shape through an “intuitive but structured process.” The development and realization of this process has resulted in a prolific year of collaboration, and this new body of work represents Apfelbaum’s most ambitious and challenging prints to date.



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On View: Polly Apfelbaum @ Temple Contemporary + Durham Press @ the Downtown Fair


Polly Apfelbaum + Dan Cole, For the Love of Gene Davis @ Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia opened May 13th – July 11th

Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art
Temple University
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Wed-Sat 11am-6pm


Polly Apfelbaum was selected as the 2013 Tyler Distinguished Alumna.  The annual program brings together Tyler’s alumni and its recent graduates, with a lecture, studio visits and a two-person exhibit at Temple Contemporary.

In Apfelbaum’s first lecture, she referenced Gene Davis’s work “Franklin’s Footpath” and how it had made an enormous impact on her as a young artist.  The monumental mural of colorful stripes was painted on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 1972 in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sponsored by the museum’s Department of Urban Outreach.  Apfelbaum and her collaborator, Dan Cole (BFA 2010), decided to use the piece, which carried so much history in the city, as the inspiration for their joint show.

The immersive installation covers the walls and floor.  Apfelbaum created a striped wool rug, made by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico and wallpaper that followed the pattern up throughout the room.  Guests are welcome to walk on the piece, preferably with striped socks!  At the entrance to the show, neon signs direct visitors into the gallery where a pile of shoes are left in the corner in the wake of a colorful abyss that stretches out beyond.  The space itself opens up into an almost futuristic dimension where the stripes resemble motion at top speed.  The stretch of lines on the walls and floor invite visitors to float through to the adjacent room where Dan Cole’s band, Revedog, played a great set on the opening night amidst a poignant video installation.  Cole created the music, video and exhibition poster using old photos of himself and Apfelbaum at the age of 21 with a backdrop of the iconic image from Time Magazine of Gene Davis painting the museum parkway.

The show runs through July 11th.

Click on the clip below for a short glimpse of the opening set:





New York | Downtown Fair

Durham Press just returned from the Downtown Fair in NY this past weekend and showcased Polly Apfelbaum’s vibrant monoprint from 2012 entitled Nirvana Park 1.  The new satellite fair to Frieze, produced by Art Miami LLC, was well attended and received positive feedback for the inaugural year.  Artnet News listed Durham Press as the best booth at the fair!

We showed Mickalene Thomas’s complex work Landscape Majestic and works by Emil LukasChitra GaneshPolly ApfelbaumBeatriz MilhazesHurvin Anderson, and James Nares. Below are a few snapshots of the booth.

Thanks to all of you who came to visit!





On View: Polly Apfelbaum @ Lumber Room

Polly Apfelbaum is currently exhibiting in two shows.  Polly’s group show just started at the BCA Center in Vermont entitled “Evergreen Blue Shoes” and will be up until June 7th.  The show is a reference to a 60’s psychedelic rock band, continuing Polly’s exploration of counter culture and experimental artmaking.  Also on display until April 26th, Polly’s solo show at the lumber room in Portland, Oregon entitled “Color Stations Portland” will showcase her work in color field theory.  In Polly’s own words: “The 14 Color Stations are part of a larger series of Color Sessions: ‘sessions’ in the sense of musicians getting together for a number of takes, going through the score again and again, not toward some definitive version, but each take being as important as the other.” Follow this link for a review from The Oregonian.


Polly Apfelbaum | Color Stations Portland | installation view, lumber room, Portland | image by Jeremy Bitterman, Courtesy of lumber room

The shows feature work that she created in Rome during her year at the American Academy. Polly was in the Durham Press studio this fall, just after returning from a year in Italy and was one of the 2012-13 recipients of the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize. The Rome Prize is awarded to individuals who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities. She was very inspired by the ancient mosaics she saw during her time in Rome and travels throughout Italy. Polly used this inspiration for her most recent series which she created in October. The result are two bold new unique works on paper, entitled Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora. The prints measure 79 x 79 inches, and are made from many different sets of blocks individually inked in hundreds of colors and painstakingly composed to create this vibrant cacophony of color.






In the Studio: Emil Lukas new portfolio Bubble-up

Emil Lukas was here this month making monoprints, which we have just released. The prints are called Larva, Bubble and Thread, and are sold as groupings or as individual prints.

Lukas creates the “Larva” imagery using actual live larvae, which he manipulates to create patterns. These patterns are then transferred on to silkscreens, which are layered one on top of the other to make the final prints.

The “Bubble” prints take their cue from actual bubble wrap. The familiar size and shape are burned into an etching plate and then hand inked with different colors, so no two prints are alike.

Lukas’ “Thread Paintings”, made from colored thread wound around frames, are very similar to the these “Thread” prints, which are made from a myriad of silkscreens.


New Dogwood Alley prints by Polly Apfelbaum

Dogwood Alley 2 | 2011, Woodblock Monoprint, 32″ x 68″

Dogwood Alley 7 | 2011, Woodblock Monoprint, 32″ x 68″

Dogwood Alley 9 | 2011, Woodblock Monoprint, 32″ x 68″

Polly Apfelbaum was at Durham Press in late January working on new Dogwood Alley black and white monoprints. A total of 8 prints were created during Polly’s visit. One Dogwood Alley was created in 2010 making a total of 9 unique prints. The monoprints are made with woodblocks that are handmade cross sections of various Dogwood tree branches and trunks from Bucks County, PA. Each block is individually inked and then placed by Polly. The print then makes 1 pass through the American French Tool Etching Press. The prints are then curated and put on drying racks for several weeks until the ink is fully dry. Please contact Durham Press for additional images and information [email protected].

Woodblocks- Dogwood tree branches and trunks

woodblocks and press

Printing Dogwood Alley- January 2011


Durham Press at the New York Print Fair

Durham Press will be exhibiting at the 2010 IFPDA print fair at the Park Avenue Armory from November 4th through the 7th. We will be releasing several new works by Mickalene Thomas, Hurvin Anderson, Beatriz Milhazes, Polly Apfelbaum and James Nares. Please join us at the fair!

Please join us at Park Avenue & 67th Street. The hours are as follows:

Thursday, November 4  12-8pm

Friday, November 5   12-5pm

Saturday, November 6  12-8pm

Sunday, November 7  12-6pm

Polly Apfelbaum launches new monprints at this year’s New York Print Fair

Durham Press will launch several new Polly Apfelbaummonoprints at this year’s fall fairs. New work will include smaller  sized “Love” woodblocks (the flowers),  as well as some remarkable new “ZigZag” prints in a grand scale.

Priced at an affordable entry point, there will be new “Love” monoprints in sizes ranging from 12″x 12 to 20 x 20″. The prints were originally made as part of Polly’s conceptualization for a new edition, but they were so successful as unique prints, and fitting for our changed economy that we made a group of them in different sizes for this year’s fair.

WAVE PARK – five new 79 x 79″ monoprints have just been completed Wave Park 3 will be exhibited at the fair.


Polly Apfelbaum Production in the Studio

For the last couple of weeks, the studio crew has been working hard to finish production on the last of our new editions–Polly Apfelbaum’s Wood Street and Lover’s Leap 13. Both editions required a bit of innovation and a constructed jig in order to print the perfect edition, and it has been an interesting process to see these prints being produced. Below are a handful of images taken while the studio crew has been been working on these two unique new editions.

Jason, Kyle and Jeremy inking blocks prior to placing them in the jig seen in the foreground

Jason making notes on the ink colors while Kyle and Jeremy place inked blocks into the jig

Jeremy and Kyle placing inked blocks into the jig

Inked blocks in the jig

Once the jig is filled with the appropriate blocks, the entire set up is placed into the hydraulic press, and all of the blocks are pressed into handmade sheets of Japanese paper. The end result is a finished Lover’s Leap 13 print, as seen below.

Colors rolled out for Polly Apfelbaum’s Wood Street (Gray)

Chris placing the inked blocks into the custom-made jig

Chris locking the jig up preparing it to be printed

Reveal of one of the Wood Street (Gray) prints

The finished Wood Street portfolio