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View of “Polly Apfelbaum and Betsy Kaufman,” 2019. From left: Polly Apfelbaum, Rose Moon, 2018–19; Betsy Kaufman, untitled (#30), 2015.

View of “Polly Apfelbaum and Betsy Kaufman,” 2019. From left: Polly Apfelbaum, Rose Moon, 2018–19; Betsy Kaufman, untitled (#30), 2015.

Polly Apfelbaum and Betsy Kaufman

Kerry Schuss

Polly Apfelbaum and Betsy Kaufman’s splendid joint exhibition, “Through Thick & Thin,” foregrounded an almost comical number of oppositions between the artists’ works. Apfelbaum’s eight ceramic disks were glossy, loud, and, yes, thick, while Kaufman’s ten square paintings on paper were light, flat, and precise. Apfelbaum doesn’t just layer clay; she heaps up glob after pigmented glob. Kaufman, by contrast, uses the barest washes of acrylic, her paint so thin that the controlled swipes of her brush often expose the white paper beneath. Even the titles offered a lesson in difference that reveled in metaphoric possibility: Apfelbaum titled her pieces after different names for the full moon (Sap Moon, Mother Moon, Milk Moon, all 2018–19), whereas Kaufman used the astringent, unassuming untitled and a number, the latter enclosed in parentheses. Together the small-scale works mocked the tedious

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