Manny Farber


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Manny Farber
Untitled
Oil on board, 1996
16 x 16 inches
Courtesy of Patricia Patterson and Quint Contemporary Art
Value: $7,500.00
Live auction
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Executive Director’s pick
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“In addition to being an artist, Manny was one of the greatest film critics of all time. His writing style is rough and tough, and so is his painting. But he hated the way so many gutsy writers and artists like him have affected contempt for the domestic. He made his amazing still lifes out of the home life he shared in Leucadia with his wife and fellow artist Patricia Patterson. What lifts them above mere ordinariness is what Manny brought to the subject in the act of painting. Here he creates beautiful effects of one color laid over another in sporadic outbreaks of abstraction and makes formal rhymes between peas and other rounded objects such as a bracelet of string.” – Malcolm Warner, Executive Director
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About the artist
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Manny Farber (1917-2008) was both an acclaimed artist and an internationally-respected film critic. After completing his studies at UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design, he worked as a painter and carpenter. His journalistic career began as an art critic. In 1942 he moved to New York City and took a post as a film critic for The New Republic. He contributed art criticism to Time, The New Republic and The Nation throughout the 1940s and 1950s. In 1970, he left New York to teach art and film criticism at UCSD. Once in Southern California, he focused on painting and teaching, retiring from criticism altogether in 1977. Often influenced by his favorite filmmakers, Farber’s painting is held in equally high regard with his written work. The New York Times dubbed him “the greatest still life painter of his generation.”
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About the work

Untitled
Oil on board, 1996

Earlier in his artistic career Manny Farber had been a painter of purely abstract compositions, and there remains an abstract base to works such as this one, although the abstraction has been invaded by an assortment of objects of autobiographical, anecdotal, and sometimes merely enigmatic significance. Farber painted with his board or canvas on a table, placing the objects to be represented on the surface and painting them nearby, which explains the curious effects of perspective.
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Selected collections

• Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
• Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
• Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Selected exhibitions
Manny Farber: Four Decades of Painting and Drawing, Gotthelf Art Gallery at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, San Diego, CA, 2010
Manny Farber: About Face, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, 2003
Manny Farber: Paintings, Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA, 1996
Manny Farber: Recent Work, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA, 1994
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