© Fern T. Apfel

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Fern T. Apfel

Northern Hudson Valley

Artist Statement

The envelopes and letters in my paintings are old and worn. Some have been repeatedly folded, others stashed out of sight for years. Some offer nostalgic reminders of things that no longer exist; others are from bygone friends. They represent relationships that were maintained across distances and referential dialogues extending through many years. In old letters we find loved ones, parents, old friends, and our old selves.

These paintings are an inquiry into the complexities of our relationships. The visual shifts in the work between what is written and what is left blank asks the viewer to think about what we keep and what we cast off. This friction nudges the boundaries between language, painting and abstraction.

I have been working with text for many years, but recently my work with text has taken a new direction. Where I previously collaged the text, in these pictures the text, stamps, postmarks, etc. are all painted. Previously the text could be read, now it is mostly illegible and where the color was subtle, now it is vivid. Before, the pictures were framed under glass, now there is no frame. I believe these changes create an unexpected, yet more intimate experience for the viewer.

By suggesting the symbiotic relationship between our past and our present, my paintings present life not as then vs. now, but as an inescapable circle of time and memory and the antithesis of our digital society.

© Fern T. Apfel

Fern T. Apfel's Portfolio

Fern T. Apfel, Parlor Games, Acrylic & pen on 2 wood panels, 24
Fern T. Apfel, The telegram, Acrylic & pen on 2 wood panels, 30
Fern T. Apfel, Monroe, Wisconsin, Acrylic on 2 wood panels, 20
Fern T. Apfel, Domestic Fiction, Acrylic & pen on wood panel, 20
Fern T. Apfel, Golden, Acrylic & pen on 3 wood panels, 24
Fern T. Apfel, Love & kisses, Curly, Acrylic & pen on 3 wood panels, 24
Fern T. Apfel, The Binder, Acrylic & pen on 2 wood panels, 36
Fern T. Apfel, Suppose to, Acrylic & pen on wood panel, 20
Fern T. Apfel, Whither art thou going, Acrylic & pen on wood panel, 20
Fern T. Apfel, Life-saving, Acrylic & pen on wood panel, 11

© Fern T. Apfel

Artist Biography

Fern Apfel has exhibited widely in the Northern Hudson Valley & Capital Region of New York State where she lives and has pictures in the collections of The Hyde Collection, The Tang Teaching Museum, The Albany Institute of History & Art, SUNY Albany Museum, The Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon and The Art Students League of NY, NY.

In 2009, Apfel was honored to exhibit alongside Ellsworth Kelly and John Ashbery in The Collage Show at Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, NY.

Apfel is a two-time recipient of the Individual Artists Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Twin Counties Cultural Fund Decentralization Program. She studied at The Art Students League of New York with Joseph Hirsch, Julian Levi and Robert Beverly Hale and has a BS in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz.

In recent years, Apfel has exhibited at the Collar Works Gallery in Troy, NY in shows curated by Cara Manes, MOMA, NY, Alexandra Foradas, Mass Moca, and Ian Berry, The Tang. She has exhibited at The Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz in shows curated by Ian Berry (The Tang) and Livia Straus (Hudson Valley MOCA). Apfel has also exhibited at The Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY and The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and in several Mohawk Hudson Regional exhibits. Apfel has exhibited at the Davis Orton and Concepto Galleries in Hudson, NY, won first prize at Laffer Gallery’s (Schuylerville, NY) Upstate Artists and exhibited at The Ely Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, CT.


© Fern T. Apfel

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