Polly Apfelbaum: Mini-Hollywood

April 1, 2010 - September 19, 2010

Polly Apfelbaum drops veritable bombshells.  Apfelbaum revels in color, and through her explorations over more than two decades, she has pushed many media-textiles, in particular-to new heights.  Unconcerned with established categories of art making, Apfelbaum selects with purpose from a huge panoply of conceptual and material possibilities.  As Susan Harris has stated, “Her practice has no single allegiance to painting, sculpture installation or drawing and is simultaneously controlled and intuitive, cerebral and gestural.”

In making site-specific work in Billings, Montana, and Casper, Wyoming, Apfelbaum felt the need to ground her work within the mythmaking of the American West.  Many cherished ideas about the West were popularized and defined in Hollywood westerns and their pop stepchild the “spaghetti western.”

The title Mini-Hollywood is a nod to Apfelbaum’s Pop Art sensibilities.  Mini-Hollywood is actually the name of one of the main studios where the spaghetti westerns were filmed (“Spaghetti western” is the name given to the broad sub-genre of western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most were produced and directed by Italians, usually with a Spanish partner.)  A favorite locale for shooting these films was the Spanish region of Andalusia, specifically the Tabernas Desert of Almería. Production took place at three main studios: Texas Hollywood, Western Leone, and Mini-Hollywood.

Like all art of significance, Mini-Hollywood is expansive — it opens up and out, rather than closes down.  Open yourself up to an experience of pure color and visual and spatial delight.  Move through the work and experience its changes and shifts.