Polly Apfelbaum, Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea, 2022. Installation view. Photo: Noam Preisman

Magasin III Jaffa

34 Olei Zion
6813131 Tel Aviv-Yafo
Ph ‭+972 3-9499900‬

Opening Hours

Thursday 2pm – 8pm
Friday 10am – 2pm

Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea

March 15, 2022 – July 29, 2022

Polly Apfelbaum’s immersive site-specific installation at Magasin III Jaffa is an overwhelming, sensual experience. Using painting, sculpture, and installation, Apfelbaum creates an imaginary environment based on landscapes, the Red Desert in Wyoming, the peak of the Red Mountain in southern Colorado, or the Red Sea, and specific cultural references, such as Antonioni’s 1964 film, Red Desert, or a quote from Josef Albers. Apfelbaum invites the viewer not only to see, but to take an active role in a journey and in an exciting exploration of boundaries, painting, abstraction, and color.

Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea ‘s starting point is Red Desert (1993),a velvet floor piece, included in Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art’s collection since 1997. To this work Apfelbaum adds a new floor piece: Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea (2021), a wall painting: Red Waves (2022), and three ceramic works: Sun Targets (2017), Red Table with Red Sea Beads (2013-2020) and Red (eye) Line (2022).

Apfelbaum’s floor works, which she refers to as “fallen paintings”[1] are key elements in her work. Drawn to the use of this ancient object by nomadic tribes who crossed borders as a way of living, she uses carpets to research the boundaries of contemporary ideas and mediums. Originally a painter, transferring her paintings into floor works, an object one can touch, sit on, and walk through, allows Apfelbaum to explore the limitations between painting and sculpture and subsequently painting and film. When placing a carpet, an object commonly found in a domestic realm, in the public sphere of an exhibition space, Apfelbaum allows herself to investigate the line between private and public. Her commitment to traditional handicraft, whether her own longtime practice with ceramics or the merging of another’s hand in her artwork, (Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea woven by the Vasquez family Pueblo of Teotitlan del Valle, from Oaxaca Mexico, the baskets in Red Table with Red Sea Beads made by African asylum-seeking women from Kuchinate collective, based in Tel Aviv), provide Apfelbaum with the opportunity to explore the boundaries between art and craft.

Although Apfelbaum’s installations are not fixed in time or in space, one cannot ignore the location and era in which Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea is being exhibit. As Apfelbaum’s examination of the boundaries between craft and art is highlighted when the viewer walks into Magasin III Jaffa from Olie Zion Street, where Persian and Afghan carpets are spread on the sidewalk, her exploration between private and public is intensified by the last two years in which we had to redefine all that we know about these terms, while moving our offices to our living rooms and celebrating our most private moments in public parks.

Karmit Galili
Magasin III Jaffa, Curator

[1] This term was first introduced with respect to Apfelbaum’s old floor works by Kurt Varnedoe.

About the Artist:

Internationally renowned, New York based artist Polly Apfelbaum is known for her energetic, large-scale colorful installations of textiles, ceramics and paint. Apfelbaum (b. 1955 in Abington, Pennsylvania) has been exhibiting consistently in the US and internationally since the 1980s. Apfelbaum’s work crosses mediums from drawings, prints and paintings to sculpture and installations, while sharing interest in color, abstraction, post-war American culture, film, craft and design.

Apfelbaum has held recent solo exhibitions at: Arcadia University, Glenside, PA (2022, currently open), Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University, Pullman, WA (2019) Belvedere 21, Vienna, Austria (2018), Ikon gallery, Birmingham, UK (2018) Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA (2016), Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA (2014), Clifton Benevento, New York, NY (2014); Burlington Arts Center, Burlington, VT (2014); Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India (2013). In addition, Apfelbaum has participated in dual and group exhibitions at: Kunstmuseum Luzern, (2022, currently open), Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Kunstmuseaum Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein; Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA; Brown University, Providence, PA; MOCA Cleveland, OH; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Sweden.

About Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art
The museum is one of Europe’s leading institutions for contemporary art. Magasin III believes in the ability of art to challenge and inspire people and society. Since 1987, Magasin III has presented world-class exhibitions and continues to fortify its collection, which holds works by leading artists. Recent highlight exhibitions in Stockholm include Tom Friedman, Katarina Grosse, Tony Oursler, Mika Rottenberg, Ai Weiwei, Andrea Zittel and Gunnel Wåhlstrand.

About Magasin III Jaffa
Magasin III Jaffa is an exhibition space, a permanent satellite established by Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art from Stockholm, Sweden. Magasin III Jaffa’s diverse program features both local and international contemporary artists. Since opening at 2018, Magasin III Jaffa has presented solo exhibitions by Haim Steinbach, Shiela Hicks, Cosima von Bonin, Tal R and Maya Attoun. The space is located on 34 Olei Zion, in a residential neighborhood rich with history and cultural diversity, that borders with Jaffa’s famous flea market. Magasin III Jaffa’s unique architecture enables passersby to view the exhibitions from the outside, day and night.

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