John Himmelfarb "Geared Up"

Luise Ross Gallery

poster for John Himmelfarb "Geared Up"

This event has ended.

In the past, John Himmelfarb--the Chicago born, bred and based working artist-- has occasionally incorporated truck imagery in his work, usually in an ancillary role, or as a single character in larger, more complicated pieces. In more recent years, he has been using the image of a truck as the central organizing principle in his paintings, drawings, prints, and now in sculpture. The latter comprise the predominate work in this exhibition at Luise Ross Gallery.

In Himmelfarb’s world--somewhere between abstraction and figuration—the three bronzes, one large plywood sculpture, and the one wall-filling painting in the show are clearly identifiable as trucks. Rather rickety and tired from countless trips and loads, perhaps, but Himmelfarb captures the very essence of trucks. And with artistic wit and inventiveness in the line and form of his depiction, the truck imagery morphs into almost human physical attributes and attitudes in the viewer’s imagination. The artist’s titles for some of the pieces—“Fortitude,” “Knowledge,” “Perseverance”—suggest human virtues dating to the Aristotelian and Platonic tradition, and are clues to his intended anthropomorphism.

And what do trucks do? They carry stuff, and Himmelfarb’s are loaded. Perhaps a truck aficionado other than the artist will recognize a crane arm at rest, or the suggestion of a crank shaft, but most viewers will be content to categorize the cargo as a collection of forms suggestive of impedimenta, of “stuff” acquired and accumulated over time and experience, just in case. And for the Heads out there, it’s OK to assume that Himmelfarb’s wonderful work in this exhibition is a fitting nod of homage to “Truckin’.”



from February 18, 2010 to April 17, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-02-25 from 18:00 to 20:00


John Himmelfar

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