The powerful artwork of Ida Applebroog


It's been a long while since I posted on this site, so it's fitting to start again with some work by Ida Applebroog. I was wowed by an exhibit of her work at the Ronald Feldman Gallery sometime in the late 1980's, and several decades later, her body of work still feels as odd, jarring, raw, honest, and contemporary as it did back then. The excerpts below from a 1999 Interview with Ida Applebroog by Patricia Spears Jones in Bomb Magazine capture the power of Applebroog's imagery:
IA: "What I do to freestanding images is like entering a film montage; there’s no middle, there’s no end. You just come into a piece mid-situation. And I can’t really tell the viewer how to interpret it. Because the meaning shifts with everyone who comes to the work—whether they’re male, female, old, young, middle aged, from different backgrounds—everything is very personal. You come to my work with your baggage, with your life experience." PSJ "...you make up these statements and have split screens in your paintings, yet they’re so bizarre that even if they were all declarative sentences, one would go, What the hell is she declaring? The syntax is strange. The image/word choice and juxtaposition is calculated to dislocate the reader. There are things going on in these paintings that keep you from blithely connecting the dots and leaving."

IA "Well, it is a dislocation. It’s all like real life: at times, you can’t tell what’s going on; there are random, disconnected events."

Ida_Applebroog_Baby, baby, suck your thumb, 1994 Oil on canvas (5 panels)

Ida_Applebroog_Baby, baby, suck your thumb, 1994 Oil on canvas (5 panels)

Ida_Applebroog_K-Mart Village I, 1987 oil on canvas

Ida_Applebroog_K-Mart Village I, 1987 oil on canvas

Ida_Applebroog_I'm rubber, you're glue, 1993 Oil and resin on canvas,

Ida_Applebroog_I'm rubber, you're glue, 1993 Oil and resin on canvas,

Ida_Applebroog_Photogenics_gen2

Ida_Applebroog_Photogenics_gen2

Ida_Applebroog_Triple Triptych, 1984 Oil on paper

Ida_Applebroog_Triple Triptych, 1984 Oil on paper

Ida_Applebroog_Photogenics_gen5

Ida_Applebroog_Photogenics_gen5

Ida_Applebroog_Modern Olympia, circa 1997—2001 Charcoal on Arches

Ida_Applebroog_Modern Olympia, circa 1997—2001 Charcoal on Arches

Ida_Applebroog_Monalisa, 2009 Mixed media on gampi

Ida_Applebroog_Monalisa, 2009 Mixed media on gampi

Ida_Applebroog_Monalisa-detail-2009-mixed-media

Ida_Applebroog_Monalisa-detail-2009-mixed-media

Ida_Applebroog_sacrafice_paradise, 1993 oil on canvas

Ida_Applebroog_sacrafice_paradise, 1993 oil on canvas

What do you think?