Marcia Hafif (American, 1929-2018) #196 1968

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 1
Marcia Hafif
(American, 1929-2018)
#196
1968

Sold for £ 56,312 (US$ 70,464) inc. premium
Marcia Hafif (American, 1929-2018)
#196
1968

signed and dated 1968 on the overlap, signed and dated 1968 on the stretcher
acrylic and lacquer on canvas

100 by 100 cm.
39 3/8 by 39 3/8 in.


Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Marisa Volpi Orlandini Collection, Rome
    Private Collection, Rome (by descent from the above)
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    Literature
    Éric de Chassey, Marcia Hafif - La période romaine / Italian Paintings, 1961-1969 précédé d'un entretien avec l'artiste, Geneva 2010, p. 125, no. 196, illustrated in black and white



    Formerly in the collection of esteemed curator and art historian Marisa Volpi Orlandini, Marcia Hafif's #196 is a masterfully simple, vivid painting that demonstrates the American artist's ties to Pop Art and Minimalism. Characterised by a melodious enamel surface over a seething, crisp underpainting, #196 is an exemplary work from Hafif's Roman period that saw her engage directly with the surface, exacting forms and colour.

    Resident in Rome between 1961 and 1969, #196 is from an instrumental passage in Hafif's career that would establish the timbre of her investigations into, what she called, "Pop-Minimal" painting. Of the 210 paintings she produced over the course of the decade, only half of them survive, making them still more rare and significant. In the present work Hafif's nuanced synthesis of pop colours and minimal structures produces a superbly chic canvas, boasting an erudition and confidence of a consummate master of geometric painting.

    Born in 1929 in Pomona, California, Hafif closely studied the art of the Italian Renaissance, captivated by the sumptuous panels and frescoes of Fra Angelico. Introduced to collectors and curators including Volpi Orlandini during her tenure in Rome, she was quickly recognised for her talent and significance as an artist at the forefront of the painterly avant-garde of the 1960s, aligning herself with Italian Pop as well as with artist Francesco Lo Savio who was himself a pivotal influence and precursor to American Minimalism. Returning to New York in 1971, she garnered attention for her monochromatic paintings that were a continuation of her earlier Roman works, culminating in her inclusion in Abstract Painting: 1960-69 in 1983 at the P.S.1. Museum, New York, alongside the likes of Brice Marden, Robert Ryman, and Agnes Martin.

    Across an oeuvre that has been overlooked and considerably undervalued, Hafif has proven herself to be one of the most serious minimalist painters and theoreticians, consistently pushing the significance of the materiality and synesthetic affects of paint. Writing in Artforum in 1978, she commented: "The options open to painting in the recent past appeared to be extremely limited. [...] we may be ready to enter still another phase of abstraction, a synthetic period" (Marcia Hafif, 'Beginning Again', Artforum, September 1978, No. 17, Vol. 1, online).

    In the present work, the canvas ebbs and flows under a radiant orange hue, abutted by a sine wave of marine blue enamel. A painting that demonstrates all the subtlety and skill of a refined master drawing upon the palettes of Pop Art and the aesthetics of Minimalism, #196 is a fresh to market work of exceptional provenance by an artist whose career is overdue an institutional and market reassessment.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.