Marge Rector: If It Makes You Happy
David Richard Gallery
Mar. 23, 2020 - Apr. 17, 2020
David Richard Gallery is pleased to present its second solo exhibition of paintings by Marge Rector (1929 – 2019) and her first solo exhibition in New York City. The current presentation, If It Makes You Happy, focuses on three things that made Rector very happy: painting, non-objective abstraction and color. This exhibitition includes 11 paintings that span Rector’s career from 1970 through 2014 and focuses on her use of color, a wide range of compositional approaches, and diverse methods of applying and moving pigment across her canvases. The exhibition will be on view from March 25 through April 17, 2020 at David Richard Gallery located at 211 East 121 Street, New York, New York 10035, P: 212-882-1705.
Rector emerged in her professional career in the mid-1960s, around the time of that important exhibition, The Responsive Eye in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that ushered in Op Art. That exhibition and period of art had a tremendous influence on her earliest series of paintings. The paintings were bold, hard edge, geometric, predominantly black and white, very optical and illusory. However, her interests in the late 1960s and through the rest of her career shifted to include curvaceous structures, all over compositions of free-flowing curvilinear and rectilinear structures, double-layered back-to-back canvases with cuts in the surface of the upper canvas to reveal the interior space between the canvases and surface of the second canvas positioned about one inch behind it, the use of more color and different approaches to applying pigment to the surface including: brushing, ragging, blotting, pouring, layering and staining. She also worked with sand much later in her career.
This exhibition reveals not only Rector’s migration from one aesthetic style and painting approach to another, but also how she explored multiple paths in parallel and revisited certain approaches during various points in her career. Rector worked in a fairly isolated manner during much of this time while living on the coast in Northern California. Yet, she kept exploring new paths in her quest for non-objective abstraction and novel ways to use color and materials in her compositions. She is an example of a professional woman artist who always worked in her studio, was creative and inventive, passionate about her work and artistic practice, which defined and became the very core of who she was. While Rector was included in solo exhibitions, many group presentations, juried shows and several museum presentations throughout her career, she was largely unrecognized commercially through most of the later part of her career.