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The Dwarves without Snow White

Polly Apfelbaum

Contemporary Art

On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, South (rectangular gallery), 4th floor
Polly Apfelbaum’s The Dwarves without Snow White demonstrates the artist’s interest in expanding the accustomed boundaries of painting. Apfelbaum paints with dyes on rectangles of crushed velvet that are then folded, showing the underlying layers of colors, and placed on cardboard boxes. The boxes function as pedestals for the painted velvet, integrating painting and sculpture in a single work. According to Apfelbaum, the box is a metaphor for the artist’s paint box as well as for the painted wedding chest, which historically held the trousseau that defined a woman’s standing in society. The title refers to the well-known fairy tale and its ideals of femininity.
MEDIUM 8 boxes and lids, stretched crushed velvet, dye
DATES 1992
DIMENSIONS Each: 27 x 15 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (68.6 x 39.4 x 8.9 cm) Overall: 131 in. (332.7 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.113.1a-c-.8a-c
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Contemporary Art Council
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Polly Apfelbaum
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CAPTION Polly Apfelbaum (American, born 1956). The Dwarves without Snow White, 1992. 8 boxes and lids, stretched crushed velvet, dye, Each: 27 x 15 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (68.6 x 39.4 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Council, 1992.113.1a-c-.8a-c. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.113.1a-c-.8a-c_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1992.113.1a-c-.8a-c_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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