Polly Apfelbaum, Gregg Moore, Sean Donovan and Viktor Boullet in New York, NY

It was a very rainy and cold night, but I wanted to go to the Polly Apfelbaum opening at 56 HENRY. I adored their Laurie Simmons show and now have them on my regular radar. As you know, I organize my gallery viewing by neighborhood. My first stop was Lubov, a gallery I’m always paying attention to.

Binman, 2020-2021
Oil on linen

I’m usually winded by the time I climb the many flights of steep stairs to Lubov, and I was soaking wet as well. The last show I had seen in the space was Eli Ping and Covey Gong, which I loved. It took a bit to take Viktor Boullet’s paintings in, and after spending some time with the work I really liked them. You can read this press release about Boullet as it is just too hard to paraphrase.

Binman (Heritage I), 2020-2021
Oil on linen
Binman (Heritage Problem), 2020-2021
Oil on linen
Left: No Sun, Gave Up, 2020
Oil on linen

Right: Missing the Sun, 2020
Oil on jute
I Want Coffee I, II, IV and V, 2020
Oil on linen

I stopped into, and passed by, several galleries on my way to 56 HENRY as I knew the opening wasn’t starting for a bit. In full disclosure, I see lots more shows than I post about, but I only share art I like.

I came across a gallery called M 2 3 and spent a lot of time there. I liked Sean Donovan’s work. The show was arranged beautifully, and I was quite drawn to the fiberglass wall pieces. I was intrigued by the medium, casting and how each piece was hung. I love process, and the colors he was able to create through casting fiberglass were very much up my alley.

“Recent fiberglass works are based on chemical pods and fiberglass structures found in an abandoned industrial park outside of Lisbon, Portugal. The factory and its surroundings are now a toxic wilderness of refuse poisoned by the production process. The cast fiberglass sculptures presented as part of Praxis of Matter precariously cantilever over the viewer as a foreboding introduction to the tools of industrial waste. The vessels reference the myopic philosophy of industrialists who placed profit over the welfare of their employees and the environment.” (M 2 3)

Points of Matter front gallery
Three Panels of a Nine Foot Pipe, 2022
Cast fiberglass, pigment UV crystal clear epoxy, caulk, hardware
Nine Panels of a One Foot Pipe, 2022
Cast UV fiberglass, pigment, caulk, graphite, hardware
Side view
Three Panels of a Seven Foot Pipe, 2022
Cast fiberglass, pigment, caulk, masonite, UV coating, hardware
Side view
The Panels of a Three Foot Pipe, 2022
Cast fiberglass, pigment, UV crystal clear epoxy, wood, graphite, hardware

I had a great discussion with the owner about Donovan’s process, and the gallery itself. I was interested in the above piece for my own home, which of course had already sold. He has been great about following up about future work by Donovan. You can read more about Donovan here. I look forward to upcoming shows at M 2 3.

Side view

Still too early for the official opening, I went into 56 HENRY. I was tired, wet and knew I had a long dark walk home. The space is tiny, and they were welcoming of my early arrival. I was able to look at the work for Polly Apfelbaum and Gregg Moore’s show Feed Your Head without a crowd. I had seen this was going to be a ceramic show, and had never thought of Apfelbaum working with ceramics. She is prolific, and to me is known for her identifiable colorful drawings, prints, and fabric floor pieces. She is very good with bright bold colors. You can see examples of her varied work here.

These teapots in the front window all had names.
Janice, Clifford, Sam and Floyd Pepper, 2022
Glazed porcelain
Crazy Quilt plates/platters, 2022
100 glazed porcelain mugs

“In an exhibition ablaze with color, Polly Apfelbaum and Gregg Moore are complementaries. In their partnership, Apfelbaum’s generative formulation of color and instinct for a hybrid material fuses with Moore’s meticulous and technical ceramic expertise and knowledge. The two came together over a shared love of ceramics, material pleasure and experimentation. Together, they pursued a Pew-funded residency, the fruits of which include the exhibition For the Love of Una Hale at Arcadia University and the one hundred glazed porcelain mugs and three color charts on view at 56 HENRY.” (56 HENRY)

Color chart of glazes used

My favorite part of the show were the color charts of over 100 glazes that Apfelbaum made with Mason Stains. I love a color chart, and liked the two below a lot.

They were giving away posters of the mugs, but what I thought was clever, and practical, was how they kept track of who bought which mug. Each mug was numbered, and they wrote the name of the buyer on a poster on the wall. There were only a few mugs remaining when I arrived.

You can read more about Apfelbaum and Moore here.

Leave a Reply