A pioneering figure of 1970s installation art, Judy Pfaff is credited for her emotional, elaborately crafted, and collage-like environments. Her sprawling sculptures and installations are studies in balance, as disparate objects synchronize and order is found amid the chaos. Pfaff was born in London in 1946, and after moving to the United States as a child, she earned a BFA from Washington University in Saint Louis, followed by an MFA from Yale University. While she trained as a painter during that period, her attraction to materials and tools—“stuff,” as she puts it—ultimately led her to sculpture and installation, through which she enjoys experimenting with form and substance, and creates organic entities that are largely concerned with architecture, the natural world, and the body.
Pfaff has also made a considerable array of prints and drawings, in addition to producing stage designs for the theatre. Pffaf is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award and has been the subject of exhibitions at institutions such as the Denver Art Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, among others.