ARTnews by Barbara A. MacAdamOh, 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.
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
The Brooklyn Rail by Joan WaltemathMarcia 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
The New York Times by Ken JohnsonThe 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
Art in America by Cathy LebowitzThe 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
The Brooklyn Rail by Phong BuiAlthough 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