The catalogue raisonné of Marcia Hafif's works during the Italian period, with about 500 paintings and drawings from the 70's, with a long interview and an essay by Eric de Chassey: an indispensable tool for anyone who, today, wishes to understand the evolution of occidental abstraction, through this woman painter figure, emblematic of the era's mutations.
Born in 1929, Marcia Hafif left her native California in 1961 to
undertake her « Grand Tour » of Italy and eventually settled
down in Rome for close to ten years. The body of works she
created in this span of time consists of some 210 paintings and
255 drawings, collages, serigraphies, the major part of which
she left behind in Europe on returning to the United States.
This output did not resurface until the end of the nineties, an
ensemble of striking relevance and quality (Mamco, 1999). In
a jubilant prologue to the monochromes – she describes them
as «onefigure paintings» – she began to produce in 1972 in
New York, Hafif's Roman period explores the potentials offered
by non-figurative painting, finding patterns in the factual
(preceding «néo-géo» by twenty years), then by the resources
of post-Matisse abstraction, brushing at times the limits of
an image, influenced by pop aesthetic and fashioned around
biomorphic curbs. A privileged decade that sees Hafif invent
with maestria the woman painter figure, emblematic of the
era's mutations. An indispensable tool for anyone who, today,
wishes to understand the evolution of occidental abstraction,
this catalogue raisonné includes a significant narrative by the
artist. It describes the many intrusions that interfere daily in the
creative processus, and allows the reader to apprehend the
development of osmosis between acquired influences from the
West Coast abstract expressionists familiar with the mythical
Los Angeles Ferus Gallery, and the range of colours and forms
she witnessed in Rome, in its architecture, pavement mosaïcs,
street signs, movies, etc. In his essay, Eric de Chassey comments
on the issues of geometrical abstraction of the decade
and sets the Roman paintings in historical perspective.
Born 1929 in Pomona, California, Marcia Hafif lives and works in New York and in California.