Marge Rector: If It Makes You Happy

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211 East 121st Street, 10035, New York, USA
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Marge Rector: If It Makes You Happy

New York

Marge Rector: If It Makes You Happy
to Fri 17 Apr 2020
By Appointment

David Richard Gallery presents its second solo exhibition of paintings by Marge Rector (1929 – 2019) and her first solo exhibition in New York City.

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The current presentation, If It Makes You Happy, focuses on three things that made Rector very happy: painting, non-objective abstraction and color. This exhibition 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.

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.

About Marge Rector:

Rector dedicated her fifty-year career to painting non-objective abstractions. Trained as a commercial artist, she received her BA degree from Texas Technological College (currently, Texas Tech) in 1950 and worked professionally in that field until 1964. At that time, Rector decided to pursue a career in fine art and studied at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Emerging from her studies about the time of the Op Art movement and that seminal exhibition, The Responsive Eye, presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965 and organized by William C. Seitz, Rector could not help but be influenced by the hard-edge structures, dizzying lines, geometric forms and high key and high contrast colors that created optical and illusory effects challenging visual perception. She exhibited in 1970 at the Butler Institute of American Art Annual Show in Youngstown, Ohio and regularly in solo and group exhibitions with Atelier Chapman Kelly in Dallas until she moved to Sausalito in 1973 where she has lived and worked ever since. While in Sausalito, her painting practice expanded to explore new mediums, shapes, compositions and palettes, but always staying focused on non-objective abstraction.

About David Richard Gallery:
Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field— in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.

In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.

All Artwork Copyright © Marge Rector Estate and Rector 1990 Trust, Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

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