JUDY PFAFF was born in London in 1946. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1971 and graduated from Yale University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1973.
A pioneer of installation art, Pfaff has had over 100 major solo installations across the country and abroad at such venues as the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; the Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Pfaff was the represented artist for the United States in the 1998 São Paolo Biennial. Her work is included in many public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. ; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.
Pfaff is the recipient of numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center (2014); a MacArthur Fellowship (2004); an Award of Merit Gold Medal for Sculpture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (2002); a Bessie Award (1984); and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1983), as well as two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1979 and 1986). She is the Richard B. Fisher Professor in the Arts and Co-Chair of the Studio Arts Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
In 2012, Pfaff was the visiting artist in the Walter Gropius Master Artist Series at the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, WV.
Pfaff currently lives and works in Tivoli, NY.