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Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to announce our first exhibition of work by Marcia Hafif.  This show follows on the heels of her recent retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum in 2015 and her installation in Made In LA at the Hammer Museum in 2014.  

On January 1, 1972, Hafif created a work that serves as the basis for her practice to the present day. With short vertical graphite strokes starting from the upper left corner, Hafif filled the page with vertical marks, explicitly revealing the process inherent in making the drawing.  With an integrity recalling the rigor and seriality of Robert Ryman and Giorgio Morandi, she transferred this process into watercolor, oil, acrylic, and an entire inventory of pigments and supports used in painting. One stroke after another, in a meditative process that recalls the marking of time, Hafif reveals the qualities of her chosen medium through layering, juxtaposition, and the meticulous exploration of color.  

This exhibition highlights Hafif’s graphite drawings and watercolors dating from 1974 to 1982. Some works quite literally employ Hafif’s hand as well as her limbs and body. In Chest Drawing, 1978, Hafif’s signature strokes emanate from a curvilinear feminine form, establishing a presence of self. Other graphite works serve as a continuation of Hafif’s New Year’s Day drawing, with variations on the density and orientation of her compositions existing within the boundaries of her serial practice.

Hafif employs a parallel process in her richly hued watercolors. In Antwerp Blue, Cobalt Green, Scarlet Lake, September 28, 1974 (pictured above), her signature vertical strokes move through variations in color in a lyrical, choreographed composition. Other watercolors employ a monochromatic palette that more clearly emphasizes the process of her mark making.

A group of Hafif’s luminous glaze paintings from 1995-2003 are also on view. In this series, one coat is repeatedly layered over another, creating vibrating jewel toned canvases. According to Hafif:

“I returned to the books on methods and materials to find a recipe for a glaze medium using Damar varnish, turpentine and oil.  Each of the many colors I used were applied to separate canvases, the result being bright and clear as a glaze over a white ground.”  

Marcia Hafif (b. 1929, Pomona, California), received her undergraduate degree from Pomona College in 1951 before moving to Rome to work and live for eight years.  Upon her return to California, she earned her MFA in the inaugural class at University of California at Irvine in 1971.  Hafif was included in Rooms, the first exhibition at the experimental PS1 space in Queens in 1976 with artists such as Alan Saret, David Hammons, Franz West and Michelangelo Pistoletto among others.  Recent exhibitions include a solo show at the Laguna Art Museum (her first in California since a 1975 exhibition at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, now the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego), Made In LA, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2014 and Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years, MOCA, Los Angeles, 2010.  Hafif has been included in exhibitions and permanent collections at numerous American and European galleries and museums.  Hafif lives and works in New York and Laguna Beach, California.  

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