Judy Rifka, Ionic, Ironic: Mythos from the 80’s

29 Jan 2019 – 29 Mar 2019

LatchKey Gallery

New York
New York, United States


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Ionic, Ironic: Mythos from the 80’s re-introduces the public to the radical and pioneering artist that is Judy Rifka. These works are part of her larger oeuvre, History of Sculpture, a series of paintings completed in the late 1980’s.


LatchKey Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Judy Rifka’s Ionic Ironic: Mythos from the 80’s; marking over three decades since History of Sculpture has been exhibited. The exhibition will be on view at the CORE:Club from January 29, 2019 through March 29, 2019. The exhibition is open by appointment only, artist reception will be held on January 30, RSVP is essential, info@latchkeygallery.com

 Ionic, Ironic: Mythos from the 80’s re-introduces the public to the radical and pioneering artist that is Judy Rifka. These works are part of her larger oeuvre, History of Sculpture, a series of paintings completed in the late 1980’s where her literalist interpretation in the era of deconstruction, is made up of disassembled pages of sculptural artifacts becoming a flattened tumulus in layers. 

Celebrating the highly formalized concepts of Classical Antiquity; balance and proportion, against the organized chaos of abstraction, the series is a set of polar opposites, straddling the line between of 1970’s formalism and 1980’s postmodernism. The fusion of styles come together through her muted colors releasing the viewer to be absorbed by the density of her collage like effect. Applying layers of geometric shapes, along with images of classical architecture and goddesses, Rifka uses thin layers of acrylic paint to create an assemblage of history. 

History of Sculpture was first exhibited in 1988 by Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York. In writing of the series for the catalogue, Robert Pincus-Witten describes the series as “an emblem of (this) paradox…Rifka effectively mediates these antinomian fusions, this post-modern alchemy, through an extravagant ostracism of hierarchy.” Ionic Ironic: Mythos from the 80’s is a visual documentation to the artist’s innovative contributions to the evolution of art, the paradigm shifts that move us forward, to challenge the system and advance the concepts of art. 

Judy Rifka was born in 1945 and has been active in the New York art scene since the 1970’s, and is associated with the art movement, CoLab, under Walter Robinson who with Edit deAk founded Art-Rite where Rifka created many memorable covers.

Rifka has been part of two Whitney Biennials (1975, 1983), Documenta 7 (1982), and the legendary Times Square Art Show in 1980. In writing of Rifka, the renowned Rene Ricard said in his influential December 1981 Art Forum article, "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.”

LatchKey Gallery would like to thank Gregory De La Haba with supporting the gallery with every aspect of the exhibition.

What to expect? Toggle


Amanda Uribe

Natalie Kates

Exhibiting artists

Judy Rifka


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