Judy Pfaff was born in London, England in 1946, and later settled with her family in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated with a B.F.A. from Washington University, Saint Louis in 1971. Her M.F.A. was from Yale University in painting, in 1973.
Pfaff has had over 100 solo exhibitions, and is the recipient of awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), Academy Member Fellowship at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2013), Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2013), the MacArthur Fellowship (2004), and the Guggenheim Fellowship (1983), multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1979, 1986) USA Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA (2009), Southern Graphics Council International Conference, Southern Graphics Council International Conference Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), Bessie Award for Set Design for “Wind Devil,” BAM Production (1984), and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2009).
Her work can be found in a number of permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Albright Knox Museum, in Buffalo, NY, and the Chazen Museum, Madison, WI. She was honored as a Milton Avery Distinguished Professor of Art from Bard College in 1989 and 1991. She received an honorary doctorate from Pratt University, New York, in 1999, and is the Richard B. Fisher Professor of Art and Co-Chair of the Studio Arts from 1994-2014 at Bard College.
Pictured: Judy Pfaff and Installation view of “…..all of the above,” 2007. Rice University Art Gallery, Houston.
Photo: Nash Baker