All Exhibitions

Judy Pfaff: End of the Rain curated by J Myszka Lewis & Sona Pastel-Daneshgar for Tandem Press

Aug 14–Dec 4, 2021

The Gallery

In a recent interview, Judy Pfaff said "I don't trust language. I don't trust words." It is clear in her profound work, however, that she trusts materials and colors. Her work sways back and forth between representation and abstraction as she harnesses images found in her surroundings – trees, homes, textiles found in a market, illustrations of fish and birds– holds them in her hands, and creates her interpretation of their likenesses in colorful and airy sculptures, installations, paintings, and prints. She moves between two- and three-dimensional work with a fluidity that feels natural and balanced but also results in unexpected and delightfully surprising visual experiences.

Judy Pfaff: End of the Rain highlights a selection of the prints that Judy Pfaff created with Tandem Press from 2000 to 2017. The prints included in this exhibition reveal some of the long-standing aspects of her aesthetic, as well as her experimental application of multiple printing techniques and materials in each work. Pfaff has a unique ability to tease a sincere warmth out of paper, to inject deep spatial awareness into two-dimensional artworks, and to visualize abstract ideas through recognizable images in a way that elicits personal connections within the viewer. Eluding categorization, Pfaff's artwork is genuine, generous, and simultaneously both familiar and new.

Judy Pfaff (b. 1946) was born in London and emigrated to the US at the age of thirteen. She received her BFA from Washington University and her MFA from Yale University. From the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Pfaff has worked with a wide and unusual range of materials and moves back and forth easily between two- and three-dimensional work, creating art that is complex, profuse, and unique. Her dynamic, exuberant, large-scale works incorporate many different media. Like her installations, Pfaff’s prints have a three-dimensional presence and flowing quality with layered circles, lines and organic shapes echoing throughout the images. To bring the overall compositions together, her prints are often completed with hand-applied paints, fabric dyes, and layers of collaged elements.

Her innovative work has brought her wide acclaim from galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and her work can be found in such prestigious collections as the Detroit Institute of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Among many other awards and accolades, Pfaff was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2004 and was featured in PBS’s Art 21 in 2007. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center in 2014 and a National Academy Award for Excellence in Sculpture in 2015. Judy Pfaff lives and work in Tivoli, New York.

About Tandem Press:

Tandem Press is a self-funded professional printmaking studio and gallery affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tandem Press hosts internationally renowned artists in its studio space, assisting them as they create original fine art editions. As a gallery, Tandem Press also represents, promotes, and sells the artworks created in the studio both locally through exhibitions and events in Madison, WI and nationally through participation in affiliated exhibitions and several internationally renowned annual art fairs.

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