Judy Pfaff (British, born 1946)
Untitled, 1980
Mixed media collage

A pioneer in installation art since the late seventies, artist, sculpture and printmaker Judy Pfaff is best known for her large exciting three-dimensional installation pieces using the raw materials of the world. Many of her large installations do not outlast the exhibit due to their complexity and fragility. Her art is about the experience and the process of problem solving. Her work of the eighties was often referred to Energism. The work is colorful and resembles explosions made with diverse objects and shapes. The social references and local resources of the New York scene of the 1980s inspired this particular piece. The characteristic materials included colored Lucite, Mylar and miscellaneous dry goods. Born in London, England, she spent her childhood in Detroit, Michigan. She is now a professor of art at Bard College in New York. Her printmaking ability was recognized when she participated in the Crown Point Press Japanese Program. She worked very closely with the Japanese printer Tadashi Toda who printed 170 impressions other work. Her more recent large installation pieces are more open and airy and she focuses on line and, specifically, to moving linear gesture, but is more interested in what happens if things are poured, gouged, pulled, punctured, striated. She works for first impressions and immediate results. Her largest work is “Cirque, Cirque,” a permanent installation at the Philadelphia Convention Center. It is said to be the largest suspended sculpture in the world. She describes her work in recent years as being interior landscapes. Judy Pfaff’s work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum.