Polly Apfelbaum’s Colorful Carpets Take Over Vienna’s Belvedere 21

Polly Apfelbaum, Face (Geometry)( Naked) Eyes, 2016. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna.

A hybrid aesthetic characterizes the work of American artist Polly Apfelbaum—one exhibition may pair wall-hung ceramics with handwoven rugs. For “Happiness Runs” at Vienna’s Belvedere 21, the artist, with curator Stella Rollig, has narrowed the scope to carefully considered works on the floor, specifically carpets. The exhibition, which takes its name from a 1968 song by Donovan, gathers portions of six installations into one space.

Polly Apfelbaum, Deep Purple, Red Shoes, 2015 (Detail). Photography by Johannes Stoll. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London.

The works, carpets made in Mexico, have been shown over the past six years in installations that frequently involved other mediums. Here, on the upper floor of the museum, the carpets interact solely with each other and the building. “By painting in the space, I wanted the architecture to breathe,” Apfelbaum says. The result is a dialogue between the work, the space, and the visitors. The show, up until January 13, must be viewed without shoes.

Polly Apfelbaum's "Happiness Runs" at Belvedere 21. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London.
Polly Apfelbaum's "Happiness Runs" at Belvedere 21. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger.
Polly Apfelbaum's "Happiness Runs" at Belvedere 21. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger.
Installing Polly Apfelbaum's "Happiness Runs" at Belvedere 21. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger.
Polly Apfelbaum installing "Happiness Runs" at Belvedere 21. Photography by Sandro Zanzinger.

Polly Apfelbaum's "Happiness Runs" is at the Belvedere 21 in Vienna until January 13.

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