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"Buckets of Rain" Time LapseJudy Pfaff

April 10, 2008

Judy Pfaff harmonizes deliberate planning with improvisation as she composes her sprawling sculptures and installations. “When you’re making something, you’re always focused on finishing it,”says the artist in this film. “And then, when you step back, you start seeing all of these things that you didn’t plan.”

Through a unique fusion of sculpture, architecture, and painting, Pfaff’s dynamic environments exist in both the second and third dimensions; exuding an impossible sense of lightness and energy collaged in time and space. By means of wood, steel, wax, plaster, fluorescent lights, paint, black foil, expanding foam, and tape, Pfaff created Buckets of Rain, a large scale installation occupying two galleries. This timelapse video chronicles the work’s two week installation at Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York in 2006.

When asked about the emotional elements of the piece Pfaff said the installation “was directly about a great loss or a kind of drama, and more about choices- black and white, life and death, good and bad, and the impact of that. It just embarrasses me even to think that way, that I did that. But, you know, I didn’t feel I had a choice.”

More information and credits


Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Alice Berton & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Merce Williams. Editor: Ahmed Amer & Jennifer Chiurco. Artwork courtesy: Judy Pfaff. Thanks: Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art.

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.

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“Buckets of Rain”

Artist Judy Pfaff discusses the inspiration for and elements of her 2006 installation piece, Buckets of Rain.

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Judy Pfaff & Ursula von Rydingsvard

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Judy Pfaff

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