POLLY APFELBAUM | THREE FLOWERS
Polly Apfelbaum's second project completed with Durham Press, titled Three Flowers, is comprised of three separate but related prints created in conjunction with each other: Just Flowers, Love Flowers, and Flower Garden. Each print, published in an edition of thirty-five and measuring at 24 x 19 inches, utilizes a variety of mediums and paper types to explore the motif of the flower.
While the imagery - an array of unique flowers hand drawn by the artist arranged in a square format - remains consistent throughout the prints, Apfelbaum has chosen to execute each in a different printmaking technique. A flower can playful and decorative, but Three Flowers pushes this motif conceptually as Apfelbaum translates it through mediums, color, and paper type. Etching, woodblock, silkscreen, and spray stencil transform each flower drawing; Love Flowers highlights line weight and tone through the nature of etching, bold woodblocks bring the color and composition of the woodblocks themselves in Just Flowers, while in Flower Garden the spray stencil creates an almost glowing square of color radiating from the rows of spidery drawings.
Three Flowers marks Apfelbaum's first use of the flower in her collaborations with Durham Press, a motif that continues to pervade throughout her career in and out of the Press. Her later work, such as Persephone and her Love Series monoprints, recall Just Flowers -hand drawn flowers are translated into woodblocks and printed onto handmade Japanese paper, creating bold blocks of color that push to the forefront. By keeping the motif of the flower consistent, Apfelbaum highlights the importance of color theory and composition as she builds her work. With these two tools at hand, Apfelbaum has been able to create numerous prints and works with the same imagery while still appearing fresh, inquisitive, and captivating.