The Hands of Polly Apfelbaum at the Frith Street Gallery

For more than two-thousand years, the Mexican weavers of Oaxaca have been making textiles. Inspired and assisted by them for the exhibition, Dubuffet's Feet My Hands, Polly Apfelbaum has reproduced, on a series of hand-made rugs, the footprints of an apparently giant being. Four rugs, two with left-foot prints and two with right-foot prints, creating the tracks of a walking gargantuan. In this exhibition at the Frith Street Gallery, the American artist pays homage to the small drawing by Jean Dubuffet, entitled Footprints in the Sand - which she once admired at the Museum of Modern Art in New York - the colours of the rugs evoke the tones of the ‘70s, while the footprints themselves describe the impact of Dubuffet’s footprints, naturally larger than life. The parallel series My Hands, also part of the exhibition, created with glazed terracotta, is inspired by the “floating hand of God” in the mosaics at the Basilica of Ravenna, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. The American artist was so charmed by that hand, symbol of creation, that she went on to use her own in the works on display.
Samantha De Martin - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel London