Merage Gallery, Sinai Temple
A Survey of Important Works by American Artist Judy Rifka (b.1945) Spanning Over Forty Years
Opening Reception: Sunday, February 26, 2017, 12-2PM Exhibition Runs Through April 20th, 2017
“Her single shapes on plywood are among the most important paintings of the decade. Every painter who saw them at the time recognised their influence.” –Rene Ricard, ARTFORUM Magazine, December 1981
Judy Rifka began creating her Single-Shape paintings in the early 1970’s. Keith Haring first exhibited them on the fourth floor of the Mudd Club where the influential art critic, poet and writer Rene Ricard (July 23, 1946 – February 1, 2014) first saw them and the collector Jean-Paul Najar first began purchasing them. American conceptual artist Mel Bochner selected Rifka’s Single-Shape paintings for a 1975 show at Artists Space on Wooster Street and they were also selected by the curators of the 1975 Whitney Biennial. Writing in Artforum for a group show at Bykert Gallery in April, 1974, the art critic Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe had this to say about her Single Shapes: “Judy Rifka’s paintings dominated the show…which leads me to say that Rifka’s is the most devastatingly original formulation of painting’s identity that I’ve encountered in some time.” Merage Gallery and Sinai Temple, along with curators Gregory de la Haba, Paul Herman and Paul Calendrillo, are delighted to present a number of never-before-seen works from Rifka’s important and seminal Single Shape period along with other paintings and collage created during her long and illustrious career.