Judy Rifka

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Judy Rifka
Judy Rifka at Tales of Woe launch party.jpg
Rifka at the 2010 launch of John Reed's Tales of Woe
Born (1945-09-25) September 25, 1945 (age 68)
New York City
Nationality American
Education New York Studio School
Known for Painting

Judy Rifka, (born 1945) an American artist, first emerged in the 1970s [1] as a painter and video artist, and is associated with Colab,[2] Tribeca, the Lower East Side [3][4] arts scene of that period, and such artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rene Ricard,[5] John Ahearn, Richard Mock, Ron Gorchov, Becky Howland, Keith Haring, Matthew Geller, Joseph Nechvatal, Bruce Nauman, Elizabeth Murray, Jenny Holzer, Cookie Mueller, Richard Prince, Kiki Smith, Lynne Tillman, David Wojnarowicz and Ruth Root.[6][7] Rifka was part of a movement of the Lower East Side of Manhattan that redefined downtown and no wave.[8][9]

Art and Context[edit]

Rifka took part in the 1980 Times Square Show, two Whitney Museum Biennials (1975, 1983), Documenta 7, Just Another Asshole (1981), curated by Carlo McCormick and received the cover of Art in America in 1984 for her series, "Architecture," which employed the three-dimensional stretchers that she adopted in exhibitions dating to 1982; in a 1985 review in the New York Times, Vivien Raynor noted Rifka's shift to large paintings of the female nude, which also employed the three-dimensional stretchers.[10] In a 1985 episode of Miami Vice, Bianca Jagger played a character attacked in front of Rifka's three-dimensional nude still-life, "Bacchanaal", which was on display at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

Judy Rifka's pop figuration is noted for its nervous line and frenetic pace. Joseph Masheck described Rifka in his 1993 book, Modernities (see excerpt below).

“Rifka’s wit, which luckily keeps up with her anxious agitation, entails putting high care into a ‘careless’ look. And in a world charged with contending impersonal forces, this is like advertising in reverse, ‘pushing’ the individual consciousness in all its brave fragility.”

In the January 1998 issue of Art in America, Vincent Carducci echoed Masheck, “Rifka reworks the neo-classical and the pop, setting all sources in quotation for today’s art-world cognoscenti.” [11] Rifka, along with artists like David Wojnarowicz, helped to take Pop sensibility into a milieu that incorporated politics and high art into Postmodernism; Robert Pincus-Witten stated in his 1988 essay, Corinthian Crackerjacks & Passing Go:

“Rifka’s commitment to process and discovery, doctrine with Abstract Expressionist practice, is of paramount concern though there is nothing dogmatic or pious about Rifka’s use of method. Playful rapidity and delight in discovery is everywhere evident in her painting.”

Selected Solo Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2007: Chocolate Factory, New York City
  • 2001: Gallery X, New York City
  • 1997: Alley Culture Gallery, Detroit, Michigan
  • 1994: "Judy Rifka", Information Gallery, New York City
  • 1991: "Judy Rifka Drawings 1980-1990", Brooke Alexander, New York City
  • 1991: "Judy Rifka: Paintings and Works on Paper", Ratner Gallery (Chicago), Galerie Tobias Hirshmann (Frankfurt, Germany), Ann Jaffee Gallery (Bay Harbor Islands, Florida)
  • 1988: Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York City
  • 1988: Galerie Tobias Hischmann, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1988: Galerie Ninety-Nine, Miami
  • 1987: Saxon-Lee Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1987: Brooke Alexander, New York City
  • 1986: Anna Friebe Galerie, Cologne
  • 1986: "Judy Rifka Paintings", Cleveland Museum of Art
  • 1986: Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, California
  • 1985: Brooke Alexander, New York City
  • 1985: Anna Friebe Galerie, New York City
  • 1984: "Judy Rifka: Major Works 1981-84" (Charlotte, North Carolina and the Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, Galerie de France (Paris), Brooke Alexander (NYC), 51x Gallery, (NYC), Carl Solway Gallery (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • 1983: Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London
  • 1983: Brooke Alexander (NYC), Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco, California
  • 1982: Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York City
  • 1981: Museum (Sub) Kulture, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany
  • 1980: Printed Matter, New York City
  • 1978: Jean Paul Najar, Paris
  • 1977: Franklin Furnace, New York
  • 1976: Susan Caldwell, New York
  • 1975: Daniel Weinberg Gallery (San Francisco); Artists Space (NYC)
  • 1974: John Doyle Gallery, Chicago

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]


  1. ^ [1], New York Times, Sunday, February 3, 1974
  2. ^ [2], New York Times Frank Emblen, Sunday, August 23, 1987
  3. ^ [3], Gray Art Gallery at NYU, "Sublime Time"
  4. ^ [4], New York Times, Michael Brenson, January 25, 1985
  5. ^ [5], Art Forum, Rene Ricard, "Radiant Child," December 1981
  6. ^ [6], Art Forum, December, 2001
  7. ^ [7] No Wave anthology books listed in the collection of the NYU Library
  8. ^ David Little, Colab Takes a Piece, History Takes It Back: Collectivity and New York Alternative Spaces, Art Journal Vol.66, No. 1, Spring 2007, College Art Association, New York, pp. 60-74
  9. ^ Carlo McCormick, The Downtown Book: The New York Art Scene, 1974–1984, Princeton University Press, 2006
  10. ^ [8], New York Times Vivien Raynor, Friday, October 18, 1985
  11. ^ [9], Art in America, Vincent Carducci, January, 1998

External links[edit]

There is also a painting by Judy Rifka in the Boca Raton Art Museum(Florida,USA).

Additional References[edit]

  • Smith, Roberta. "Painting in The Heady Days", New York Times (2/16/2007)
  • Finch, Charlie. "Grace Versus Grunge", artnet.com Magazine/Features, 2004
  • Frankel, David. "The Rite Stuff", Art Forum (January) 2003
  • Carducci, Vincent. "Judy Rifka at Alley Culture", Art In America (January 1998)
  • Tysh, George. "Judy Rifka: Alley Culture", Cover (Volume 11, #3), 1997
  • "Self-Portrait," The New Yorker (January 1994)
  • Masheck, Joseph. Modernities, Pennsylvania University Press, Philadelphia, 1993
  • Pederson, Victoria. "Judy Rifka at Brooke Alexander", Paper Magazine (January) 1991
  • Glueck, Grace. "Art School, Still Needy, Is Thanking Its Champion", The New York Times (9/24/1990)
  • Mercuri, Bernardo. "Judy Rifka", Teme Celeste (August–September, 1989)
  • Sturman, John. "Judy Rifka", Art News (January 1989)
  • Mifflin, Margot. "Art in a Whirl", ELLE (October 1988)
  • Wright, Jeff. "Filling the Space with Holes", Cover (October 1988)
  • Galligan, Gregory. "Judy Rifka", Arts (January 1986)
  • Kuspit, Donald. "Judy Rifka", Artforum (January 1986)
  • Morch, Al. "Painting in Three Dimensions", San Francisco Examiner (2/17/1986)
  • Making their Mark, Women Artists Move into the Mainstream 1970-1985, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, 1985
  • Berenson, Michael. "Judy Rifka", New York Times (1/25/1985)
  • Grimes, Nancy. "Judy Rifka", Art News (1/16/1985)
  • Levin, Kim. "Judy Rifka", Village Voice (1/16/1985)
  • Plagens, Peter. "Nine Biennial Notes", Art in America (July 1985)
  • Raynor, Vivien. "Joseph Nechvatal-Judy Rifka", New York Times' (10/18/1985)
  • Cohen, Ronnie. "Judy Rifka", Artforum (September 1984)
  • Levin, Kim. "Judy Rifka", Village Voice (1/31/1984)br />
  • Masheck, Joseph. "Judy Rifka and Post-modernism in Architecture", Art in America (December 1984)
  • Cameron, Daniel. "Biennial Cycle", Arts (June 1983)
  • Honnef, Klaus. "Acht Monografien: Judy Rifka", Kunstforum (No. 61-May) 1983
  • Kent, Sarah. "Judy Rifka", Time Out (London, 10/20/1983)
  • Larson, Kay. "Art, Monuments & Meanings", New York Magazine (10/14/1983)
  • Moynehan, Barbara. "Judy Rifka at Brooke Alexander", Flash Art (May 1983)
  • Smith, Roberta. "The Whitney Biennial: Taking Consensus", Village Voice (10/26/1983)
  • McCormick, Carlo. "Color My World: An Interview with Judy Rifka", East Village Eye
  • Rene Ricard. The Greatest Show on Earth, 1982
  • Linker, Kate. "Judy Rifka", Artforum (Summer) 1982
  • Moynehan, Barbara. "Judy Rifka," Flash Art (Summer) 1982
  • Skoggard, Ross. "Judy Rifka at Brooke Alexander", Art in America (October 1982)
  • Smith, Roberta. "Intermural Painting", Village Voice (2/23/1982)
  • Ricard, Rene. "The Radiant Child", Artforum (December 1981)
  • Casademont, Joan. "Judy Rifka, Braathen-Gallozzi Contemporary Art", Artforum (November 1981)
  • Ingrid Sischy,"Project", Artforum (February 1980)
  • Bleckner, Ross. "Transcentdent Anti-Fetishism", Artforum (March 1979)
  • Ratcliff, Carter. "Up against the Art Establishment", New York Magazine (11/27/1978)
  • Gilbert-Rolfe, Jeremy. "Judy Rifka", Artforum (April 1974)