Sunday 5 June 2016

JUDY PFAFF, CR10, Linlithgo, NY

Only near New York could u have such a superb show in such an amazing vast space and a crowd of folk to see it! 

CR 10 is in the middle of nowhere - fields, farms, trees. 

Pastoral at its best.
Till July 3rd it houses a spectacular 175ft long site specific installation by JUDY PFAFF on one floor 
and an exhibition of her framed paintings & prints downstairs. 
Curated by DAVID EBONY formerly managing editor of Art in America, now contributor to many online arts columns, it's a spectacular event, and perfect for the venue. 
                                               Judy Pfaff in green centre; David Ebony RHS
Former barn, (with as Pfaff pointed out - no walls,) its dark beams can support her huge, heavy sculptures while the wooden planks welcomes her often circular cosmic colourful floor pieces. All helped by side windows to produce the lighting.
Pfaff refuses to be categorised. This sprawling show is titled GRASSHOPPER & maybe this is a good indication of her organic & wide ranging approach to 2 & 3 dimensional work. Her circular images are influenced by Tibetan sand paintings and mandalas. 
She has said she is as far removed from minimalism as possible, proved by various lush, multi-collaged, multi-coloured embossed, inset, layered, encrusted constructions of wood, iron, plastic, print & digital imagery. 
But as Ebony points out, her most recent pieces, made specially for this show, are large, quite elegant, white & black structures.   
Pfaff,( born 1946 in London,) who teaches at Bard, has a long & illustrious career. Awards include a MacArthur Foundation Award (2004), fellowships from the  Guggenheim Foundation (1983), National Endowment for the Arts (1986). Major exhibitions at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (2002), Denver Art Museum (1994) and Saint Louis Art Museum (1989). In 2013 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Interestingly she is one of several women artists involved in large scale sculptural constructions. Think of Ursula von Rydingsvard, Beverly Pepper, Magdalena Abakanowitz, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, Phyllida Barlow, Sheila Hicks, Claire Barclay ... I wonder what it is that makes women take on such immense challenges? 
Pfaff says she loves plastic - melted & spread, folded & rolled. 
She also works with wood and metal - here anchoring strong twisted rods to the actual barn itself. 
Pfaff has 2 full time assistants - and surely needed them to install this huge show. She has her works stored in her studio & 11 buildings! 
She currently has several big exhs on the go & recycles - or as Ebony would have it, re-contexturalises her work for each venue. "It's all very green" she laughs. 
I also enjoyed her elaborate etched, painted and embellished prints and huge framed collaged pieces.
CR 10, (named after its location on County Route 10 near Linlithgow, NY) is the brain child of Francine McGivern, who has a long track record in the NY art field. This event - (open Thursday-Sunday 12-6pm)  proves that she can make her middle-of- nowhere institute work! 

Artist talk Saturday 4th June. 2016

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