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View of “Polly Apfelbaum,” 2011.

Polly Apfelbaum

Michael Benevento

View of “Polly Apfelbaum,” 2011.

Polly Apfelbaum’s “Feelies”—an ongoing series of small, unfired polymer-clay sculptures that the artist began during her Yaddo residency in 2010—point to a handful of cultural references, namely the midcentury abstractions of painter Paul Feeley, the “feelie” vessels created by potter Rose Cabat, and the proto–indie rock of the Feelies. The title of this show, “Double Nickels on the Dime,” was also referential, having been taken from an album by West Coast hardcore band Minutemen that, in turn riffs on a song by former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar. Such layers of knowledge could be followed to variously poetic and amusing ends, but Apfelbaum’s “Feelies” are formally compelling in their own right, pleasurable, suggestive little objects, even without such cultural baggage.

Each smaller than a square foot and made from colorful arrangements of polymer clay pressed flat,

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