Polly Apfelbaum's project at the Neiman Center, Flags of Revolt and Defiance, is a portfolio consisting of 31 color silkscreen prints with title page, that take the form of emblematic flags. Inspired by an installation work presented at the Lodz Biennale in 2004 in Poland, Apfelbaum selected a group of flags that represent revolutionary cultural and political movements throughout history. Some are highly recognizable images, ranging from the Black Panther party flag and Gay Pride rainbow spectrum to other more obscure flags of other insurgencies. To create a new system of symbols, Apfelbaum superimposed on each flag her own iconic pop flower shape. Assembled in a grid and hung vertically, the grouping incites thought and reaction.
She was born in Pennsylvania in 1955 and has lived and worked in New York since 1978. Apfelbaum makes sculptural works, her most recent area of concentration utilizes beautifully dyed fabric, fragmented and carefully composed to form large floor pieces. She has exhibited her work extensively in the United States and abroad since 1986, recently completing in 2004, a traveling mid-career survey initiated by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia which went onto the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, among other honors, and is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Israel Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.