KAREN RIFAS TO OPEN SOLO SHOW PER FORMS
AT EMERSON DORSCH FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
Opening reception 6-8pm
Dance performance 7pm
at 5900 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL
“In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually.”
- Josef Albers, Introduction, Interaction of Color
MIAMI, FL—Emerson Dorsch is delighted to announce Karen Rifas’ first show with the gallery, “PER FORMS,” opening Friday, September 1, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm. There will be a performance at 7pm. Rifas will present a vinyl floor drawing in the midst of vivid new paintings on paper. From above, her installation will look much like her works on paper, which create “impossible space” with flat geometric forms and color.
Karen Rifas’ new paintings on paper line the walls of the gallery. Rifas experiments with the effects of color contrast on the perception of space. Combined with the interplay of converging lines or irregular polyhedrons, the resulting compositions have an astonishing variety and range of references, from textile patterns to art historical standards. We often forget that color reveals its power over time. That is, look at vivid colors and shapes for 30 seconds, then look at a white space. The colors will have burned an echo into the image you see in the second. Likewise, one can track Rifas' ability to see throughout her year of of experimenting with the effects of color and composition.
Rifas has a theory that viewers may experience the same analog snaps that she does while drawing by moving benches around a 12 x 12 foot floor drawing. The spatial experience simulates the optical one, reinforcing the malleability of perception.
During the opening the floor drawing will also be a stage for a choreographed dance performance, a collaboration with Dale Andree, a pillar of Miami’s dance community. The dancers will enact a re-arrangement of the right-angled benches into various patterns. Having danced as a child and later as a mother and grandmother of dancers, Rifas worked with choreographers to dramatize how her forms are perceived as solid, even though they are only suggestions of mass.
This body of work continues from the principles in Karen Rifas’ most visible works in public and private collections throughout South Florida. The wonderfully ephemeral installations consist of dried oak leaves strung on taut threads. The dappled shadows these works cast contrast with the lines’ precisely drawn geometric volumes, contracting minimal and natural references into a signature sculptural vocabulary. Since making these works, Rifas has exhibited more thread drawn volumes and also an extensive body of works on paper, which assert an exacting linear pattern with variations in balance and symmetry. In these works, which she made throughout her career, we see how she animates lines in space.
Karen Rifas frees herself from the conventions and limitations of pure abstraction without abandoning the love of formality.
ABOUT KAREN RIFAS
Karen Rifas has shown her work internationally, though, and this is remarkable, she has primarily made her art career in South Florida. Indeed, she has exhibited at nearly every art institution in Miami, so much so that her CV reflects the development of the scene in our fair city. She taught at the New World School of the Arts, Miami-Dade College and the University of Miami, where she received both her BFA in 1985 and her MFA in 1988. She began her Masters as soon as her daughter got her driver’s license. Apart from showing her work at galleries and museums in Miami, New York, Washington, D.C., Panama, Mexico and Chile, Rifas has shown locally at the Bass Museum of Art, the de la Cruz Collection, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Public collections include Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami Dade Art in Public Places, the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, NSU Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, the Girls' Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL and the Museo de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Rifas' work has been featured in publications such as Art in America, ArtNews, Sculpture and Art Papers.