Deborah S. Freedman, Judy Rifka, Ernest Silva
February 1 – 25, 1975

Deborah Freedman studied painting at New York University, where she worked with Audrey Flack who selected her for a solo exhibition at Artists Space.

Judy Rifka, selected by Mel Bochner, had graduated with an MFA from Hunter College ten years prior in 1965. For this show, she presented a group of abstract paintings: flat, geometric shapes painted in acrylic on large pieces of raw plywood. Existing in the wake of artists whose work fore-grounded surface and process, such as Robert Ryman, or viewer contingency, such as Robert Morris, Rifka’s paintings re-introduced internal, pictorial space without lapsing into a Modernist system. Made all at the same size, the paintings on the wall were sequenced almost like an animation. The grain of the plywood functioned as a support as well as pictorial information, declaring itself materially while drawing the viewer’s gaze inward. Rifka’s work was featured that same year in the 1975 Whitney Biennial.

Ernest Silva’s work, billed as sculpture on the exhibition card, cleverly exploits the space between painting and sculpture by focusing on forms that are just barely three-dimensional. One work in the show, Artist’s Suitcase, comprised a wooden box approximately the size of suitcase, decoratively painted. The piece exposes the thin boundary between two- and three-dimensional work while literalizing the idea of a work’s internal space.

Installation view of paintings by Judy Rifka
from Deborah S. Freedman, Judy Rifka, Ernest Silva,
Artists Space, 1975

Invitation for Deborah S. Freedman,
Judy Rifka and Ernest Silva

Artists Space, 1975

Ernest Silva
Artist's Suitcase, 1975
From Deborah S. Freedman, Judy Rifka, Ernest Silva, Artists Space, 1975

Background image:
Painting by Judy Rifka
Artists Space, 1975

Painting by Judy Rifka from Deborah S. Freedman, Judy Rifka and Ernest Silva
Artists Space, 1975

Painting by Judy Rifka from Deborah S. Freedman, Judy Rifka and Ernest Silva
Artists Space, 1975