Since the beginning of the 1970s, Marcia Hafif’s artistic production has involved a fundamental investigation of painting as such. The framework for this investigation is formed by the simple, but bold question: What is painting? The American artist has been at work on a theory of art that includes an examination of both the act of painting and the product of this action. The long-term project that developed over the years from this inspiration bears the austere and yet programmatic title “Inventory” and encompasses numerous panel paintings. With this inventory, Marcia Hafif aims to develop an awareness of the individual considerations and decisions that go hand in hand with painting as a form of action. In individual chapters, i.e. in various distinct series of paintings in the inventory, the artist deconstructs and systematically examines the material and techniques of the medium. This involves a prior determination of formats, types of image substrates, pigments, painting utensils and techniques of applying paint. As the very basis of painting, the artist accords paint a special role and proceeds to examine it and to test its properties, for instance, in the context of its application and the relationship of its color to other colors.
Born in Pomona (CA, USA) in 1929, lives and works in New York and Laguna Beach (CA, USA).