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Judy Pfaff in "Romance"

Although she started out as a painter, Judy Pfaff was drawn to materials and sculpture. As she explains, “I found when I was a painter I couldn’t stop and until it was finished another thought didn’t enter. With the sculpture, they go on for months. It tells different kinds of stories…”

The documentary follows Pfaff through the installation of a recent exhibition, one which is driven by sadness and loss, using tree roots, neon tubes, and plaster forms, among others, to explore the worlds of black and white. Pfaff describes how the show came into being after the deaths of several close friends, her mother, and her former teacher and mentor, Al Held.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Judy Pfaff

Balancing intense planning with improvisational decision-making, Judy Pfaff creates exuberant, sprawling sculptures and installations that weave landscape, architecture, and color into a tense yet organic whole. A pioneer of installation art in the 1970s, Pfaff synthesizes sculpture, painting, and architecture into dynamic environments, in which space seems to expand and collapse, fluctuating between the two- and three-dimensional. Her work is a complex ordering of visual information, composed of steel, fiberglass, and plaster as well as salvaged signage and natural elements such as tree roots. She has extended her interest in natural motifs in a series of prints integrating vegetation, maps, and medical illustrations, and has developed her dramatic sculptural materials into set designs for several theatrical stage productions.

“Making sculpture, which was light, sculpture which was transparent, sculpture which was illusionistic, sculpture which you couldn’t take home and put in your living room…

It wasn’t one thing, it was really like a set of experiences or a set of experiments that suggested a larger context.”

Judy Pfaff

Judy Pfaff discusses her artistic processes and inspirations, as well as the roles that romance, feminism, and environmentalism play in her work.

14:36
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11:53
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