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View of “Polly Apfelbaum,” 2014.

Polly Apfelbaum

Clifton Benevento

View of “Polly Apfelbaum,” 2014.

Over the past twenty years, Polly Apfelbaum has employed wool, cotton, and various other kinds of textiles in her works, but there’s one fabric in particular she returns to again and again: synthetic velvet. This material, with its iridescent sheen and simulated old-world opulence, wends through the majority of her floor-based output, her so-called fallen paintings—from The Dwarves Without Snow White, 1992, for which she presented dye-blotted sections of synthetic velvet on cardboard boxes; to Bones,2000, where she rolled vast, hand-stained bolts of the cloth; to Funkytown, 2005/2009, in which she assembled intricately dyed bits of it into an electrifying room-size installation. For her debut solo exhibition at Clifton Benevento, Apfelbaum presented some fifty works that yet again featured synthetic velvet—each covered in arrays of dots made with a marker. However, rather

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