American painter. She attended the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (1947–50) and in 1958 moved to Chicago, where she was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1966–8). In 1974 she moved to New York. Applebroog’s paintings were best known for their collision of imagery based on specific everyday experiences, news items and endemic social ills. She first became known in the 1970s for small books, such as Galileo Works (1977), in which her own ‘narratives’, consisting of leaps and jumps between ideas and images, represent a disjunction associated with social critique and a questioning of the ideologies implicit in representation. She posted them to friends and people in the art world. They were the precursors to larger sequential works such as Sure I’m Sure (ink and rhoplex on vellum, 2.56×1.72 m, 1980; artist’s col.), comprising six panels, much like sinister comic-strips, combining irony and intense tenderness. She is best known for her multi-partite paintings that, as part of the legacy of feminist practice in the 1970s, deal with the ‘trivial details’ of everyday life as if they had the scale and weight of subject-matter of traditional history painting. By giving prominence to ordinary events or to groups of people whom she saw as victimized or marginalized, she attempted to empower such groups, especially women, by revealing those elements in their experience that she saw as common to all (e.g. Pull Down the Shade, oil on canvas, 2.18×1.52 m, 1985). Her paintings place the viewer in an uncomfortable moral position, as they demonstrate Applebroog’s moral outrage and social conscience.
From Grove Art Online
© 2009 Oxford University Press