"We are that radiant child and have spent our lives defending that little baby, constructing an adult around it to protect it from the unlisted signals of forces we have no control over. We are that little baby, the radiant child, and our name, what we are to become, is outside us and we must become “Judy Rifka” or “Jean-Michel” the way I became “Rene Ricard.”

- Rene Ricard.  Art Forum 1981 - The Radiant Child

Judy Rifka’s career spans over 50 one-person shows and countless exhibitions; her work can be seen in numerous museums and foundations throughout the United States and Europe and has been featured at the following: 1983 Whitney Biennial, 1975 Whitney Biennial; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Documenta VII, Kassel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Carnegie Mellon University; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum; The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Laforet Museum, Tokyo; Kansas City Art Institute; The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers; Kunst Rai, Amsterdam; Mint Museum, Charlotte; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; The Museum of Fine Art, Boston.



Artist Statement


Paradigm-shifting. That is what it is about for me. You don’t just sit there and follow in everyone’s footsteps. You have to paint your way through it, and that takes time.  

I ask, what does everyone think that painting is about, that it doesn’t have to be about? What conclusions are they drawing that we are ready to break out of?

In painting, you put one thing down, then you think about where you want to put another thing. After that, it looks like some kind of space is built up.

However, there is no actual space in painting: that space always becomes an emotional connection.

Making a painted connection of your intention is the same as growth, the same as how any form works, how a pseudopod works, how evolution works. You decide where you want to go, you go there, and then you build a body to go there. This becomes the form. 

So the space disappears, and a form, or a body, comes out of it. - Judy Rifka, 2021



Teaching Positions and Artist-In-Residencies


  • Stevens Institute, 2006-2014
  • Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
  • Columbia University, New York
  • Princeton University, New Jersey
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
  • Brooklyn Museum School, New York
  • University of Michigan at Rochester, Michigan
  • University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
  • Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan
  • Tamarind Institute, New Mexico
  • Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Maryland Institute, College of Art, Mount Royal Graduate School
  • Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont
  • Vermont Studio School, Johnson, Vermont
  • Tandem Press, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Vermont Studio School, Johnson Vermont