Since the 1970’s Judy Pfaff has synthesized sculpture, painting, and architecture into dynamic large-scale environments and innovative works on paper. She weaves landscape, flora, and color into a complex, highly charged and organic whole using such materials as steel, paper, fiberglass, and foam as well as salvaged materials and elements from nature, especially trees.
Pfaff is widely known as an originator of the genre of Installation Art. Her grounded-breaking work is also associated with the Pattern and Decoration Movement (P&D). The artist has received many prestigious awards, including one of the highest honors possible, the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. Others include the Guggenheim Fellowship; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center; the National Endowment for the Arts Grant and the National Academy Award for Excellence in Sculpture, National Academy Museum.
In 1998 Judy Pfaff represented the United States at the São Paolo Bienal. In 2015 she was one of the first contemporary artists to complete a major installation at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA. Other commissions include a full-scale set for the American Symphony Orchestra, Fisher Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. In Fall 2016 she had a career retrospective of works on/with paper at Wheaton College.
Her work is in major museum collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC; Museum of Modern Art, NY; and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Seonhwa Art and Culture Foundation, Seoul, Korea; Albright-Knox Gallery; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia among many others.
Judy Pfaff was born in London, England in 1946. She received an MFA from Yale University. She lives and works in upstate New York.