Polly Apfelbaum graduated from the Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She has exhibited consistently since her first solo show 1986. Her work has recently been recognised with a Pew Center for Arts Grant, a Creative Capital Award, and the 2012 Rome Prize at the American Academy. She has also received a Joan Mitchell Grant, The Diebenkorn Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Recent solo exhibitions include: "These Boots Are Made for Walkin," Frith Street Gallery, London, "Red Desert, Red Mountain, Red Sea" at Magazin III, Israel,“Polly Apfelbaum and Josef Herzog” at Kunstmuseum Luzern, “For the Love of Una Hale” at Arcadia University, PA, “Waiting For the UFO's (a space between a landscape and a bunch of flowers)” at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, and the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK; “Happiness Runs” at Belvedere 21, in Vienna, Austria; “Face Geometry,” OTIS College of Arts and Design, Los Angeles, CA; and “Deep Purple, Red Shoes,” Be-Part, Waregem, Belgium. She is represented in numerous collections including: Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.