Remnants of the past: old stamps, pages of diaries, pieces from well-thumbed books are my subjects. Rummaged from flea markets, garage sales, and used book stores, the text in my pictures can be read as a narrative, an account of events, or a provocation.

By suggesting the symbiotic relationship between our past and our present, my images present life not as then and now, but as an inescapable circle of time and memory, and the antithesis of our digital society. 

Here, language, narrative, and abstraction get rethought. What was previously lost, has been recovered, pushing the boundaries between language and painting and narrative and abstraction.

Most recently, my work with text has taken on a new dimension. Where I previously collaged the text, in these new pictures  – Dear Nobody – all the text, stamps and postmarks are painted.

I have pictures in the permanent collections of The Hyde Collection, The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, The University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, The Albany Institute of History & Art, The Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon, The Columbia County Museum & Library, and The Art Students League of New York and numerous private collections.

A two-time recipient of the Individual Artists Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Twin Counties Cultural Fund Decentralization Program, I have exhibited at the Collar Works Gallery in Troy, NY in a show curated by Mass Moca curator, Alexandra Foradas, at The Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz in a show curated by Tang Director, Ian Berry, at The Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY, and the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio among others.  In 2016, I had a solo exhibition at the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY. and also exhibited at the Albany Center Gallery in Albany, NY.  I am a three-time recipient of a Mohawk Hudson Regional Purchase Award from The Hyde Collection, The University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, and The Schenectady Museum.

I have had the honor of exhibiting alongside Ellsworth Kelly and John Ashbery in The Collage Show at the Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, NY.

I have a BS in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz and studied at the Art Students League of New York with Joseph Hirsch, Julian Levi and Robert Beverly Hale.

I am represented by Concepto Gallery in Hudson, NY, where I recently exhibited new work.


Fern T. Apfel

All images copyright FT Apfel 2018