Roma 1961-1969
Opening 30 May 2024, from 6 pm to 9 pm

30 May 2024 – 25 August 2024

Roma 1961-1969 traces American painter Marcia Hafif’s relationship with the city of Rome and with its art scene through works created during her long stay in the city from 1961 to 1969.

Hafif arrived in Italy in 1961 on a research trip to Florence, eventually settling in Rome where she remained almost continuously until 1969. Thanks to an avowedly naive approach to both the city and its art-historical tradition, Hafif was able to emancipate herself from some of the influences and constraints she had felt in California, pursuing with renewed freedom her abstract—or more accurately «concrete»—pictorial research, a term she used to refer to her own work. She settled in Via del Babuino and hung out at Caffè Rosati, quickly integrating herself into the artistic community and establishing friendships with Pietro Consagra, Tano Festa, Franco Angeli, Francesco Lo Savio, Toti Scialoja, and especially Carla Accardi. In 1964 she opened her first solo exhibition at Gian Tomaso Liverani’s Galleria La Salita. 


The exhibition presents works on canvas and vinyl, made between 1964 and 1968 and characterized by a style that Hafif described as «Pop-Minimal», in which geometric patterns gradually give way to the hill shapes, among the most representative features of the artist’s Roman period. Four series of black-and-white photographs—including Roman Shopkeeper (1968), Italian Party (1968) and Roman Windows (1969) exhibited for the first time—complete the exhibition, offering a novel look at Hafif’s photographic research, which began in Rome with the help of her friend Tony Vaccaro. 



MARCIA WOODS was born in 1929 in Pomona, California. After graduating from Pomona College in 1951 and marrying Herbert Hafif she planned a year-long trip to Florence in 1961. However, Hafif settled in Rome, where she remained for almost eight years. Returning to California in 1969 and leaving painting for a time to experiment with film, photography, and sound installation, she completed an MFA degree at the University of California at Irvine. In 1971, Hafif moved to New York and gradually returned to painting. In the 1980s and 1990s she continued painting, establishing relationships with galleries in Europe, first in Munich, then Dusseldorf, and eventually Vienna, London, Paris, and elsewhere. Hafif’s work has been exhibited in numerous international institutions, including: MoMA PS1, New York (1990), Haus für Konstruktive und Konkrete Kunst, Zurich (1995), FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (2000), MAMCO Genève, Geneva (2001), Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach (2015), Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2017), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen (2017), Lenbachhaus, Munich (2018), Pomona College Museum, Claremont (2018), and MAMCO Genève, Geneva (2019). Hafif passed away in Laguna Beach, California in 2018.