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Announcement
March 25, 2022

Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una HaleOut of the Heart: The Life and Art of David Ellinger

Arcadia Exhibitions

Polly Apfelbaum, PA Abstract Purple Fire, 2021. Terracotta and glaze, 27.5 x 19.25 x .5 inches. Courtesy of Polly Apfelbaum, Frith Street Gallery, London, and Galerie näscht St Stephan, Vienna. 

Polly Apfelbaum, Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale, 2022. Installation view, Spruance Gallery. Courtesy of the artist, Frith Street Gallery, London, and Galerie näscht St. Stephan, Vienna. Photo: Aaron Igler/Greenhouse Media.

David Ellinger, Out of the heart comes the issues of life, 1943. Oil on canvas, 21.75 x 17.75 inches. Courtesy of David Bronstein. Photo: Michael Myers.

David Ellinger, Tobacco Barn or (Yellow Barn), c. 1940s. Oil on canvas, 33.75 x 48.5 inches. Courtesy of Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, Doyestown, Pennsylvania. Photo: Michael Myers.

Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale
Spruance and Rosedale Galleries

Out of the Heart: The Art and Life of David Ellinger
Harrison Gallery

Arcadia Exhibitions is pleased to present Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale, an exhibition of new ceramic works handcrafted during the artist’s extended residency at Arcadia University. Comprised of an installation featuring three sculptures and sixty wall-mounted, glazed terracotta panels, the exhibition is contextualized by site-specific wallpapers and a survey of works by noted Pennsylvania folk artist and antiques dealer David Ellinger (1913–2003).

Apfelbaum is a multidisciplinary artist who engages art history, the applied arts, and popular culture through large-scale installations that assemble fabrics or rugs, ceramics, drawings, paintings, sculptures, found objects, and immersive color. Exploring contemporary ideas surrounding craft and gender, For the Love of Una Hale examines the early influence of Pennsylvania German craft traditions on the artist’s hybrid sensibility.

“The goal is to interpret the personal as political,” states Apfelbaum, citing her long history of working with materials associated with craft, the everyday, installation, and space of the gallery. “I'm starting to look back at my history, where the inspiration came from, and how my personal experiences relate to the complex life and work of the painter David Ellinger.”

Out of the Heart: The Life and Art of David Ellinger features a selection of 60 works and related documentation exploring the creative production of a self-taught artist who helped popularize Pennsylvania German culture. Curated by Lisa Minardi, executive director of Historic Trappe, the show includes material related to Ellinger’s involvement with the Works Progress Administration and nearly two dozen paintings depicting Pennsylvania German farmsteads, household interiors, Amish quilts, and flower gardens. It also includes a selection of theorems (paintings on velvet), examples of fraktur, cut paper, painted wood (a chest and boxes), and documentation of Ellinger’s drag persona whose stage name was Una Hale.

Together, the two exhibitions serve to demonstrate the formative influence of Pennsylvania German folk art on singular but parallel sensibilities native to the region.

The project is accompanied by a publication featuring essays by Tessa Bachi Haas, Wayne Koestenbaum, Lisa Minardi, David Pagel, Jenelle Porter, Jenni Sorkin, and Richard Torchia with a transcription of a studio conversation with Apfelbaum, Gregg Moore, Rachel Geisinger, and Elizabeth Ferrell moderated and introduced by Ezra Shales.

Upcoming events

Monday, March 28, 7pm, Zoom Webinar
Queer as Folk: Exploring LGBTQ+ Identity through David Ellinger's Performance as Una Hale
Panel with: Leo Fahringer ’19, BFA Illustration, Drag Performer / Tessa Bachi Haas, independent curator and PhD candidate, Bryn Mawr College / Dito van Reigersberg/Martha Graham Cracker / Bob Skiba, curator, John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives of Philadelphia, William Way LGBT Community Center. Advance registration required.

Thursday, April 7, 6:30pm, Great Room, University Commons
Crafting Abstraction
Panel with: Polly Apfelbaum, Artist in Residence / Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator for special projects at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC / Jenelle Porter, independent curator and writer. Advance registration required. This in-person event will also be available for remote audiences via Zoom.

April 12, 6:30pm, Great Room, University Commons
Both/And: Polly Apfelbaum and the Ceramics Workshop/Studio
Panel with: Polly Apfelbaum, Artist in Residence / Gregg Moore, Professor, Department of Art and Design, Arcadia University / Ezra Shales, Professor, History of Art Department, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Advance registration required. This in-person event will also be available for remote audiences via Zoom.

For the Love of Una Hale coincides with Apfelbaum’s solo exhibitions at Magasin III, Jaffa, Israel and the Kunstmsuem Luzern.

Major support for Polly Apfelbaum: For the Love of Una Hale and Out of the Heart: The Life and Art of David Ellinger has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with additional support from Creative Capital.

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