The Artlander: Rediscovering Judy Rifka

Judy Rifka beats Beeple to the cover of Artlander 56

New York City, March 13, 2021


The American artist, Brooklyn-born, Judy Rifka, was the quintessential art star of her generation. Every major critic who saw her paintings in the 70's and 80's wrote glowingly about them. Her contribution to painting is indisputable. 

She was best friends with Keith Haring, was a lover and student of Ron Gorchov, is the ex-wife of painter David Reed (now at Gagosian) and is the mother of NYC writer, John Reed. She's in 26 museums around the world, was in two Whitney Biennials, participated in the infamous Times Square show and the inaugural PS1 exhibit. And then by 1993, with the closing of her Blue-Chip gallery, Brooke-Alexander, Rifka faded from the art world's attention. 

Find out more about Judy Rifka's incredible career in Shira Wolfe's latest cover story for The Artlander:


"Rifka’s initial spatial explorations took place in the late ‘70s when she began creating her celebrated single shapes on plywood. “Her single shapes on plywood are among the most important paintings of the decade,” wrote Rene Ricard in his 1981 Artforum article The Radiant Child. These works show movement of lines building up into shape and morphing fields. Rifka used plywood because she felt it was like a floor for her shapes to dance on. As opposed to creating compositions focused on how the viewer would relate to the exterior rectangle, Rifka allowed her compositions to move forward, often creating shapes that ignore the exterior and forcefully emanate off the picture plane. The single shapes on plywood were first shown at Artists Space and the Whitney Museum."




Katherina Zeifang

+49 171 1778796

March 13, 2021