John Himmelfarb is a Chicago-based artist who works in a multitude of mediums: painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing. The scale of his creations range from minute drawings on vintage library catalogue cards to life-size, actual trucks reconfigured into massive outdoor sculptures. He works in clay, lead, wood, steel, iron, acrylic paint, ink, and charcoal as well as less conventional materials. Himmelfarb’s art similarly melds wide-ranging influences and aesthetic points of view. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Chicago Imagism, Folk and Art Brut all roil beneath the surface in his distinctive art. For several years, Himmelfarb has investigated the creative possibilities of that very modern icon of functionality and cultural identity, the truck, a vehicle with ramifications as diverse as Himmelfarb’s aesthetic vision.
JCSM is pleased to present TRUCKS, a sweeping survey of Himmelfarb’s expressive art based on the workhorse that helped deliver the American Dream. In addition to the installation inside the museum’s main galleries, the exhibition includes the artist’s recent large outdoor sculpture, Penelope Awaiting Her Chamberlain (2013), created from a 1946 Chevrolet farm truck and found objects. Himmelfarb will be in residence during the exhibition’s opening week to complete a 35-foot-long painting included in the installation. Watch the timelapse video below to see him complete the painting. Himmelfarb’s art is included in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of American Art, as well as JCSM and many other public and private holdings.