Marcia Hafif

April 21, 2018

Marcia Hafif, Painter of Monochromatic Works, Is Dead at 88

New York Times

Marcia Hafif, an artist best known for monochromatic paintings that explored the intersection of color, brush stroke, surface and light, died on April 17. She was 88. Read More
April 19, 2018

NEWS Marcia Hafif, Painter of Sensual Conceptual Monochromes, Dies at 89


By the mid-1960s, it was assumed in some circles that all of the possibilities for painting were exhausted—that the medium had, more or less, died. But some painters pushed back against that idea, arguing that painting could reset itself, and one was Marcia Hafif. In an essay published in Artforum in 1978 called “Beginning Again,” Hafif wrote, “If one phase of this period of analysis is coming to an end, we may be ready to enter still another phase of abstraction, a synthetic period.” Over the course of her career, she continued a quest to propel painting into that new, synthetic period, often achieving awe-inspiring results.

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April 17, 2018

Marcia Hafif (1929-2018)

We are devastated to announce the death of Marcia Hafif (1929-2018). Hafif’s six-decade career encompassed painting, drawing, film, photography, and sound installations; and the singular and uncompromising nature of her practice has drawn a dedicated audience in Europe and the United States since the early 1970s. Download
December 4, 2017

Marcia Hafif at Kunsthaus Baselland

Art in America

For several decades, California-born artist Marcia Hafif has generally been known in Europe as a practitioner of ascetic monochrome painting. Her recent exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland, which surveyed her career from 1968 to 2009, revealed the remarkably multifarious quality of her monochromes and provided an opportunity to see her lesser-known works in other mediums. Read More
October 17, 2017

Checklist: FIAC

September 5, 2017

Marcia Hafif: Upcoming Museum Shows in Switzerland

Opening at Kunsthaus Baselland: Thursday 14th September, 6:30 PM

The MARCIA HAFIF exhibition is created in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (MARCIA HAFIF: September 16-January 14, 2018) and the Kunsthaus Baselland in Muttenz (MARCIA HAFIF: September 15–November 12, 2017).
Hafif (b.1929, USA, living in New York and Laguna Beach) is among the pioneers of the 1970s who fundamentally broadened con­ceptions of the practice of painting and under­standing of art per se. Since the 1980s, terms like ‘radical’ have been used to describe Hafif’s work with monochrome painting. The pencil on paper drawings, vertical pencil marks cover­ ing a surface, begun in 1972, led to the ver­tical stroke in paint. Her work in both mediums still continues, fitting within what she calls The Inventory. Each series included in The Inventory develops a single medium using tra­ditional methods and materials for making paint and preparing a ground. Individual works in a series can be larger or smaller, and usually are made with vertical brush­strokes, with which the effects of unmixed colours on a suit­able painting ground are sounded out. Works from the series that may be her most radical will be exhibited at the Kunsthaus Baselland: the Black Paintings (1979/80) in which she found black by layering ultramarine blue and burnt umber. There will also be photographs and films on display.
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June 30, 2017

Marcia Hafif in Abstract Painting Now!

July 2-November 5 at Kunsthalle Krems, Austria

In Modernism, abstraction is regarded as one of the most significant formal articulations and is particularly linked to painting. The consistent analysis of the medium up to the zero point in the avant-garde of the 1910s followed a steady resurgence of non-representational painting, especially in abstract expressionism, in informal and minimal art Painting and the creative authority, which was countered with sensuality and intuition in the postmodern phase from the 1980s onwards. The exhibition Abstract Painting Now! Will focus on the current international situation of the non-figurative panel painting with about sixty artistic positions and will fan out the wide field of a still significant painter's practice. The historical basis of the show is the development following Abstract Expressionism, which was supported above all by Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. The former, after a period of agony, in which his gray colorings emerged, turned to the beautiful, seemingly expressive. The latter used abstraction as an ironic paraphrase, commenting on the veracity of the brush stroke as a mark of the artistic self. Read More
March 3, 2017

The 20 Best Booths at The Armory Show

ARTSY EDITORIAL by Alexxa Gotthardt

Fergus McCaffrey’s elegant booth mingles the practices of two American artists who came of age in the 1960s and happen to be great friends. The works of Marcia Hafif and Richard Nonas, however, differ greatly—and that’s precisely what makes this presentation so compelling. Hafif’s hyper-saturated canvases featuring curvaceous forms that resemble bodily contours (she calls these her “Pop-Minimal” paintings) draw you in. Nonas’s more subtle patinaed steel sculptures cover the floor. They resemble architectural forms or ritualized objects; given Nonas’s early years as an anthropologist, they just might be inspired by them, too. Read More
February 6, 2017

The Armory Show 2017

Visit us at booth 505
Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present a selection of paintings from the 1960s by Marcia Hafif (born 1929) and steel and wood floor sculptures, dating from the early 1970s to the present day, by Richard Nonas (born 1936).
July 13, 2016

The Jean-Paul Najar Foundation: Maintaining A Legacy In Dubai

Harper's Bazaar by Rebecca Anne Proctor

A faintly coloured yellow canvas by Marcia Hafif hangs next to Linda Francis’ poignant work. It emanates warmth and a lightness of being. Painted in 1974, its title is Stronium Yellow Chromate. Next to it is an untitled work dating to 1964 by James Bishop. Its strips of colours in shades of blue, pink, red, mossy green and cream remind me of Colour Field Painting, a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 40s and 50s. Pure abstraction. No figures. Warmth and peace radiate from these works. And finally, there are some examples in Dubai. Read More
June 27, 2016

Words, Sex, Landscape: Marcia Hafif at Fergus McCaffrey, New York

ARTnews by Barbara A. MacAdam

Oh, to be a time traveler, making regular forays into the 1960s and ’70s, when there seemed to be less marketplace pressure and artists felt free to take imaginative chances, experiment uninhibitedly with materials and forms, and be more quietly speculative.

Exemplifying the spirit of the era are the almost 50 forthright and vividly colored abstract paintings and works on paper that Marcia Hafif created in Rome between 1961 and 1969.
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June 6, 2016

Review: Marcia Hafif

Artforum by Prudence Peiffer

…Patient amid this bounty is a painter’s painter, Marcia Hafif, in an exhibition dedicated to a group of works she made during an eight-year sabbatical in Rome in the 1960s, where she lived off a monthly stipend of $150 from her recent divorce and created a distinctive brand of “Pop Minimal” abstraction. Her art from this period remained in storage in Europe until 2001, and this is the first time the fifty-some paintings and drawings have been exhibited in the US. Don't miss it. Download
June 3, 2016

Marcia Hafif: The Art of Distillation
The Italian Paintings, 1961 – 1969

The Brooklyn Rail by Joan Waltemath

Marcia Hafif’s mostly two-color paintings now on view in Chelsea were created in Rome, and are being shown for the first time in the United States after thirty-seven years in storage. The exhibition reveals the paradox of a sensibility both in formation and fully formed. Trains of thought become visible in the room through Hafif’s open and non-conclusive inquiry, an exploration that is refreshing in today’s climate. It is a reminder of the possibility of the production of artworks being driven by the nature of an artist’s investigation rather than the needs of a business model. Read More
May 13, 2016

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week

The New York Times by Ken Johnson

The American artist Marcia Hafif is highly regarded for the subtly sensuous monochrome paintings she began making in the early 1970s. Her fans are likely to be surprised, as I was, by her exhilarating exhibition of nearly 50 paintings and works on paper at Fergus McCaffrey. Created in Rome from 1961 to 1969, they are being presented for the first time in the United States. Read More
May 13, 2016

The Lookout: Marcia Hafif

Art in America by Cathy Lebowitz

The large abstract canvases and works on paper that California-born Marcia Hafif made while living in Rome, from 1961 to 1969, stayed in Europe for decades after their creation, and this two-floor exhibition of some fifty works is the first occasion they are being shown in the US. Her practice at the time was to sit in front of the canvas until an image came to her. She experimented with equalizing large colored shapes, flipping and negating the relationship between figure and ground. It’s striking to see these minimal compositions in light of Hafif’s ultimate commitment to the severe denial of any image in her monochromes, a move that was particularly audacious given proclamations of painting’s historical irrelevance at the time. Read More
May 13, 2016

Marcia Hafif with Phong Bui

The Brooklyn Rail by Phong Bui

Although Marcia Hafif and I have known each other since 2005 (we met at one of Robert Ryman and Merrill Wagner’s legendary annual holiday parties, and I have since had the pleasure of visiting her SoHo studio a few times), it wasn’t until a day before the opening reception of her recent exhibit, The Italian Paintings, 1961 – 1969 at Fergus McCaffrey (April 21 – June 25, 2016), that I was able to view this particular body of work. After we left the gallery, Marcia invited me to her studio to discuss, among many other things, the genesis of the work. What follows is the beginning of what we intend to be an ongoing conversation. Read More
May 2, 2016

Marcia Hafif: An Italian Job Well Done

Artefuse by Oscar Laluyan

The Sixties are back baby and its peppy Pop sensibility reads fresh once more with the recent exhibition of Marcia Hafif: The Italian Paintings 1961-1969. As the season segues into spring onwards to summer, it seems appropriate that the bright color hues laid a pleasant assault on one’s line of vision. Hafif painted these works while she was in Rome and created what she calls “Pop Minimal”. Yes, the pop is certainly there as the stark form emerged from its graphic presence to transcend past the minimal. Read More
May 2, 2016

17 Must-See Gallery Shows During Frieze Week New York

Blouin Artinfo by Rachel Corbett and Scott Indrisek

Marcia Hafif at Fergus McCaffrey, through June 25 (514 West 26th Street)
The gallery’s two-floor show revisits a striking body of work that this under-appreciated Pop Minimalist made during her ex-pat period in Italy, from 1961 to 1969. The nearly 50 deceptively simple paintings mark the octogenarian artist’s most significant US show in 25 years.
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April 22, 2016

Opening Reception of Marcia Hafif: The Italian Paintings, 1961-1969

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Marcia Hafif: The Italian Paintings, 1961-1969 opening at Fergus McCaffrey, New York. Find more images from the event on our Facebook page.

Event Images

April 18, 2016

VIDEO: A Conversation in Laguna Beach

Concurrent with the upcoming exhibition for Marcia Hafif, opening on April 21 with a reception for the artists from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to release a conversation between Marcia Hafif and Connie Butler, Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum, about Rome in the 1960s, the Italian Paintings, and Hafif’s development as an artist.

April 6, 2016

Largest Exhibition of Marcia Hafif works in the United States since PS1 coming to Fergus McCaffrey

Widewalls By Natalie Paunić

The upcoming show at Fergus McCaffrey Gallery will focus on a series of works, created between 1961 and 1969 by the legendary American artist Marcia Hafif. The exhibition provides an insight into her life in Rome, Italy, where the paintings and paper works were made. For quite a long time, these works were unknown to the public, and kept in a storage. Although the images themselves do not reveal much of Italy in a figurative manner, they speak through color and shape about the phenomena that had influence over Hafif. They also reflect on her decision to settle in Rome, instead of Florence where she was headed, and to establish a studio in the Eternal City. Read More
March 4, 2016

Marcia Hafif: The Italian Paintings, 1961–1969, Press Release, 2016

November 10, 2015

Fergus McCaffrey at
Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

Fergus McCaffrey is pleased to present a selection of never-before-exhibited works by Western artists Jack Early, Marcia Hafif, and Tavares Strachan. Download
July 14, 2015

It’s about time world-famous painter Marcia Hafif gets a SoCal solo museum show

Los Angeles Times by Carolina A. Miranda

"Marcia is so well known on the East Coast and in Europe and yet she has remained relatively unfamiliar in her own backyard," says Malcolm Warner, executive director at the Laguna Art Museum. "So, for the museum, it was a plum project to bring her to the attention of Laguna Beach and Southern California generally." Read More
July 6, 2015

New Video on VernissageTV: Marcia Hafif, An Extended Gray Scale

From white to black in 106 paintings and 60 seconds. This Snapshot video features Marcia Hafif’s work An Extended Gray Scale, 1973. An Extended Gray Scale is a monumental work by Marcia Hafif that has never before been exhibited publicly in its entirety. View Video
June 24, 2015

Those 760 Stacked Bicycles at Art Basel Fit Into Private Museums

Bloomberg Business by Katya Kazakina

“I’ve never seen it like this, all in one room,” Hafif said, standing in the middle of the 3,800-square-foot booth. “Which is really how they should be.” Read More
June 23, 2015

Art Sales: Basel’s big hitters

The Telegraph by Colin Gleadell

Frenetic buying at Art Basel signified a confident market, says Colin Gleadell as he rounds up the top lots; including An Extended Gray Scale, 1973, by Marcia Hafif at Unlimited. Read More
June 22, 2015

What we learned at Art Basel

Christie's by Deborah Wilk

The next 'Big Thing': Marcia Hafif! Deborah Wilk rounds up the key lessons (and reminders for even the most knowledgeable insiders) from the 46th edition of the fair. Read More
June 18, 2015

10 Highlights aus Basel


Zehn Dinge, die man in der Art-Basel-Woche nicht verpassen sollte. Marcia Hafif gehört dazu. Read More
June 16, 2015

Unlimited, Art Basel’s Section for Gargantuan Artworks, by the Numbers

ArtNews by Andrew Russeth

106: The total number of gray paintings, each a slightly different shade, that Marcia Hafif included in An Extended Gray Scale (1973). Read More
June 15, 2015

Fergus McCaffrey at Unlimited 2015

Selected by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer for Art Basel’s innovative exhibition Unlimited, as part of their participation for Art Basel Fergus McCaffrey presents An Extended Gray Scale, 1973, a monumental work by Marcia Hafif that has never before been exhibited publicly in its entirety.
May 27, 2015

Fergus McCaffrey presents Marcia Hafif at Unlimited 2015

The artist will be present and available for conversations about her six-decade career as follows: Monday, June 15, 4:00-7:00 PM at Fergus McCaffrey, Unlimited, Basel, Switzerland Download
May 15, 2015

VIDEO: Frieze NYC — A Walk-Through With Art+Auction’s Eric Bryant

Art + Auction's Eric Bryant took a trip to Randall's Island this week to talk with gallery owners and directors exhibiting at the Frieze Art Fair. See the gallery's booth with works by Marcia Hafif from minute 1:50. Read More
May 14, 2015

Frieze Art Fair at Randalls Island Park Offers a Bit of Everything

The New York Times by Ken Johnson and Martha Schwendener

'FERGUS MCCAFFREY (C16): MARCIA HAFIF: For sincere Minimalism, you can’t beat the paintings of this veteran artist, whose distinguished, five-decade career is represented here by nearly two dozen paintings. Thirteen monochrome canvases from 1973 and ’74, each painted a different matte hue, particularly reward meditative viewing.' Read More
May 14, 2015

‘Where can you go with abstract painting at this point?’: Marcia Hafif on her monochromes at Frieze

ARTnews by Alex Greenberger

'Yesterday, at the opening for Frieze New York, New York–based painter Marcia Hafif could be seen chatting with a steady stream of friends and admirers near her monochromes, currently on view at Fergus McCaffrey’s booth. At 86, Hafif is more excited to talk about her work than many emerging artists, and she couldn’t help but walk me over to her small and squarish earth-toned monochromes from the 1970s...' Read More
May 12, 2015

Why Frieze Is the Perfect Weekend Adventure (Even if You’re Not in It for the Art)

Bloomberg Business by James Tarmy

Four reasons for the four-day fair, including Fergus McCaffrey's solo booth of works by Marcia Hafif . Read More
April 8, 2015

Frieze New York, 2015 Press Release