Madeleine Pfull

Madeleine Pfull

b. 1993 Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney

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 Clad in in outdated frocks and firm in their unyielding stances, Pfull’s women materialise a type of resistance and in return, with a similar unhurried attitude she asks us to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 shown in a solo capacity at  SPURS Gallery, Beijing (2024) Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles (2021 and 2018), Salon Nino Mier, Cologne (2020), CHALK HORSE, Sydney (2019, 2021), M2 Gallery, Sydney (2017); and has held group exhibitions at Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and Johannes Vogt, New York. Her residencies include the Fores Project Residency, Salon Nino Mier, Jen Mann, and Spark Box Studio, Canada. Recently Pfull exhibited work at Taipei Dangdai with SPURS Gallery, Art Basel Hong Kong with AMES YAVUZ, Art Basel Miami with Nino Mier Gallery and at Art Brussels in a Group presentation with Nino Mier Gallery. In 2023, Pfull was part of the group show, ‘New Dog Old Tricks’ at Ngununggula Art Gallery, and she was a finalist in Brett Whiteley Scholarship Award. Later this year, Pfull will be presenting a new solo presentation at CHALK HORSE. 

Pfull is represented by CHALK HORSE, Sydney.