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Artists from The Aerodrome: Polly Apfelbaum

Ikon’s current exhibition The Aerodrome is dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley, Curator of Ikon before becoming Director of Milton Keynes Gallery and then Modern Art Oxford, who died tragically in 2012. The exhibition features over 40 artists Stanley worked with, all of whom held him in great affection.

Artist Polly Apfelbaum exhibited her large-scale colourful installations in Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers) at Ikon back in September 2018. Although this was her first exhibition at Ikon, Polly previously exhibited at Milton Keynes Gallery whilst Michael Stanley was director there. We spoke to her about her experience of working with Stanley and his impact on her artistic practice.

Polly Apfelbaum, Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers) (2019), Installation Ikon

When did you first meet Michael Stanley and how did you come to work together?
I first met Mike at Milton Keynes, he contacted me to do a show and invited me for a site visit. I remember the Marcel Broodthaers show was on. I travelled all the way from NYC with little bits of sequin fabric and a few un-formed thoughts.

Can you tell us about your work which features in The Aerodrome and why/how you selected this piece?
The work in the show “shades of white” was pulled from from a series called “Color Stations“. It was work I made at the American Academy in Rome, 2012 when I was a fellow there. The piece was inspired by Fra Angelico’s annunciation at San Marco. They are big hunks of Taffeta fabric, pinned to the wall with ceramic beads floating in front of the fabric.

Polly Apfelbaum, Shades of White (2019), Installation Ikon

What’s your lasting memory of Michael Stanley?
His curiosity, generosity and smarts.

Want to find out more about Polly Apfelbaum? Take a look at Ikon Shop, including exhibition catalogues from Polly’s exhibitions at both Ikon and Milton Keynes Gallery

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