Phong Bui interviews painter Marcia Hafif whose exhibition The Italian Paintings, 1961–1969 is on view at Fergus McCaffrey Gallery, New York through June 25, 2016.
Hafif, who has engaged for decades with monochrome painting, recalls painting a still life while studying with Richards Ruben: "I began using a single color and digging into it and making a kind of radiating form, treating it plastically rather than as flat. I would literally move the paint so that it was thicker in some parts. So what you’re seeing is the light, shadow, and so on. I think I was moving away from painting towards something more three-dimensional, without crossing over into sculpture."