Madeleine Pfull

Madeleine Pfull


b. 1993 Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, USA

The first act in Pfull’s practice is peculiar. She ages herself with makeup, puts on wigs and dresses up as the characters she wants to reproduce, namely 1980s suburban housewives. Mimicking particular expressions, idiosyncrasies and postures, she feeds the documentation into smoothly surfaced paintings. Describing the process she says:

I think I have similar impulses to writers and actors, of making up stories and involving myself in a character’s life. I am fascinated with performance and mannerisms which can provide a whole backstory to the person they portray.

Integrating performative staging into painting, Pfull forms uncompromising portraits of women, usually positioned  in domestic spaces, who embody suburban cliches. She is known for her dual portraits and triptychs where the same scene is played out across each canvas with only a minor variations. These variations often place in the facial expressions of her characters where one portrait might show a character posed while in another they seem to be caught off guard or are unaware that they are being watched. Clad in in outdated frocks and firm in their unyielding stances, Pfull’s women materialise a type of resistance and in return, with a similar unhurried attitude she asks us to consider them.

Madeleine Pfull graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 2015. Pfull has recently shown in a solo capacity at Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2021 and 2018), Salon Nino Mier, Cologne (2020), CHALK HORSE, Sydney (2019), M2 Gallery, Sydney (2017); and has held group exhibitions at Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and Johannes Vogt, New York. Her residencies include Chalk Horse Studio Residency, Salon Nino Mier, Jen Mann, and Spark Box Studio, Canada. Recently Pfull exhibited work at Art Basel Miami with Nino Mier Gallery and at Art Brussels in a Group presentation with Nino Mier Gallery. This year Pfull presented work with SPURS gallery at Taipei Dangdai and later this year she will be presenting new work at Sydney Contemporary with CHALK HORSE.

Pfull is represented by CHALK HORSE, Sydney and Nino Mier Gallery.