David Richard Gallery is presenting its second solo exhibition of paintings by artist 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 exhibit 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 during mid-1960s, around the time of that important exhibition, The Responsive Eye, in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that is credited with ushering in Op Art. That exhibition and period of art had a tremendous influence on Rector’s 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. She also incorporated more color and different approaches for applying pigment to the surface including: brushing, ragging, blotting, pouring, layering and staining; and 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 ultimately 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 professional life.
About Marge Rector
Artist Marge Rector dedicated her 50-year career to painting non-objective abstractions. Trained as a commercial artist, she received her B.A. 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.
To view this solo exhibition of paintings through April 17, 2020, visit www.DavidRichardGallery.com.