Carl Apfelschnitt, was born in 1948 in Philadelphia, attended the Philadelphia College of Art and had his first individual exhibition in New York City at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in 1980. He was best known for abstract paintings with a strong physical presence, whose thick, poured surfaces were often marked by cracks and craters.
His work was exhibited in both Europe and the United States. Apfelschnitt was an influencial member of New York's downtown art scene from the 1970's onward, friends with William Burroughs, Terence Sellers, and Kate Simon.
The Anne Plumb Gallery in SoHO had a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1990.
Carl Apfelschnitt died of AIDS in Newtown, Pennsylvania in 1990. He was 42 years old.