Leaving home

Leaving home

Leaving home is a letter, written to a friend, whose plot is a gentle rhythm uninterrupted by punctuation. Through language, the lament of the difficulty of leaving home for the first time, and composition, a geometric design with a red rectangle and pink square, Apfel takes the commonplace and makes it timeless.

View the Words Two Collection

April 8, 1839: Dear Aunts

April 8, 1839: Dear Aunts
April 8, 1839: Dear Aunts

April 8, 1839: Dear Aunts is a letter, written by a young woman to her aunts, telling how typhus fever ravaged her family and took her beloved mother. The sad account gives way to more news: a marriage. a baby, a move. We endure and stumble forward. These timeless happenings are paired against a severe yet simple black rectangle.

16″ x 17.5″
Mixed media: college and acrylics

Life

Cake

13″ x 14″
Mixed media: college and acrylics

The words in Life come from a 1813 edition of “The Family Instructor containing remarks and dissertations on almost every part of the human creation,” by John Howard. It is a back and forth discourse on good and bad, pro and con. The words of wisdoms and advice are counterbalanced by a slice of cake, with unlikely green icing.

Skyline

Skyline

13″ x 14″
Mixed media: collage and acrylics

In Skyline, the words, taken from the same 1813 edition of “The Family Instructor containing remarks and dissertations on almost every part of the human creation,” by John Howard, is, as in Life, a back and forth discourse of good and bad, pro and con, and contemplations on living. This time the words are counterbalanced by a row of very similar, yet different, bottles.

Leaving home

Leaving home
Leaving home

11.5″ x 15.5″
Mixed media: collage, acrylic and casein

Leaving home is a letter, written to a friend, whose plot is a gentle rhythm uninterrupted by punctuation. Through language, the lament of the difficulty of leaving home for the first time, and composition, a geometric design with pink and turquoise squares, Fern Apfel takes the commonplace and makes it timeless.

View the Words Two Collection

Summer waves: Almost always blue

Summer waves: Almost always blue
Summer waves: Almost always blue

Fern Apfel is a portraitist; not of people, but of things. Summer waves: Almost always blue combines a painted image of a paper fan, ordinary words cut from a child’s old school primer, and a simple seven-word poem. As Judie Gilmore, curator of Out of Print, wrote, “The rhythmic syllables of the English language mimic the absentminded motion of waving a fan on a hot summer day.”

View the Words Collection

Whistle softly

Botanicals
Whistle softly

In this botanical picture, Fern Apfel combines collaged text with water-soluble layers of lithography ink and casein paints. The words are alternatively a grammar lesson and an entreaty for kindness, counterbalanced with the whimsical thought: whistle softly. As Judie Gilmore, curator of Out of Print, wrote, “A playful plot emerges, offering a visual imagery that extends beyond the immediate.”

View the Botanicals Collection

Rubberbanded

Books
Rubberbanded

Books have always been a source material for Fern Apfel. With Rubberbanded, the artist takes four books – one held together with a red rubberband – and creates a tension by adopting the Japanese chop mark, and somewhat comically inserting baking directions inside them. Apfel’s books are always old and a bit beat up, quietly suggesting the symbiotic relationship between our past and our present.

View the Books Collection

Foursome

Foursome
Foursome

Ever the still life artist, in Foursome, Fern Apfel creates a pastiche of image and text. The old-fashioned spice box that bears Apfel’s name, the small glass bottle, and a child’s simple colorful blocks are all juxtapositioned against carefully chosen words and bold colors. The result is at once nostalgic and provocative. By using materials of the past, Apfel speaks to our present yearning for simplicity and authenticity.

View the Still Life Collection