After earning her M.A. in Painting at UC Berkeley, where she was influenced by the aesthetic philosophy of abstract painter Hans Hoffman, Rapoport began her career as an abstract expressionist painter. Noted for her color sense, she created painterly, impasto works in dialogue with this then dominant school of American art. She is considered to be a member of “the Berkeley School” of abstract painters, and earned early recognition with a solo exhibition at the prestigious California Palace of the Legion of Honor in 1963. As would be typical of her practice, Rapoport soon began challenging mainstream assumptions about composition, form, materials, and process, combining multiple canvasses into sculptural presentations.