Change and Continuity
1962 – 1974
Marcia Haffif: Change and Continuity 1962 – 1974
The exhibition begins in 1962 when we first encounter Hafif experimenting with repetitive vertical mark making. Throughout her career, she returns to this technique, testing the limits with various media to achieve new ends.
Between 1961 and 1969 Hafif created what has come to be known as her Italian paintings. This period in Rome produced “Pop Minimal” paintings, as the artist later called them in retrospect. The paint application in her acrylic and spray works is flat, yet has a great deal of motion where edges meet and oscillate between figure and ground. Spray paint, then a relatively new technology used predominately in car manufacturing, lends itself to the creation of negative space becoming an act of production. Upon closer inspection, however, the artist’s hand is quietly evinced by faint scuffs and drips which accumulate on the painting’s surface. This subtle tension between chance and intervention, between presence and absence, will become central to Hafif in her long career to follow.
In 1971, Hafif moved to New York City to search out a return to painting at a time when the validity of painting was in doubt. In her watercolor series from 1974, she welcomes gravity’s pull on the aqueous pigment by painting on a slanted surface, evidence of chance verses intervention of her artistic hand methodology.
As the works not only move geographically, but also materially, from graphite to paint to watercolor; Hafif continually finds herself between substance and void. Marcia Hafif: Change and Continuity, 1962 – 1974 invites you to observe this lineage which runs through Marcia Hafif’s work even in her most transformative years.