Edward Thorp Gallery announces the opening of “Slugging”, an exhibition of new works by Neil Farber. This show will mark his third appearance at the gallery and his first solo show.
Farber has become known for drawings and paintings characterized by their seductive techniques and his inventive, fertile imagination. The artist has developed an immediately recognizable language that draws from a diverse range of references and influences, from Western and Eastern folk art to comics and zine art. Each of his works serves as a contemporary tale about humanity, community and individuality. Laced with Farber’s sense of humor, these images often become cautionary tales. These riotous parables are achieved through an intricate process that involves pouring, stamping, staining, collage, building up with modeling paste, and gel mediums on specially prepared wood panels.
For Slugging, Farber has produced a series of new, larger multi-panel works. In these seductively rendered paintings, the artist further develops his visionary language and technical abilities. While the bigger format provides him with evermore freedom to expand on the idiom, Farber continues to explore our contemporary phobias with his accumulation of characters and curious scenarios. Transparent elephants poised on delicate branches appear along with a cast of other characters that test the boundaries between myth and the commonplace. Within this harmony of misfits, we find blob-headed figures, ghosts, lions, bears, draculas, elephants and skeletons inhabiting environs of floating tress, blood-stained picket fences and black matter which emanates from the skies. Farber’s visions not only question the logic of a coherent society but also upend the rules of gravity itself. At first glance, these works may appear naïve, almost childlike, but in Farber’s world the distinctions between primitive fears and sophisticated desire are indistinguishable. It is out of this ambiguity that the work’s dark humor is born inevitably reminding us of life’s absurdities.
Neil Farber was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A founding member of The Royal Art Lodge, an artist collective based in Winnipeg, Canada, also comprising Michael Dumontier and Marcel Dzama. Farber has recently exhibited individually at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, the Arken Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark, Pippy Houldsworth, London, Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf, Perugi Artecontemporanea, Padova, Italy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and the Center for Contemporary Art, New Orleans. Works are in the collections of MoMA, New York and the West Collection, Pennsylvania. As part of the Royal Art Lodge, Farber has also exhibited at MoCA, Los Angeles, the Drawing Center, New York, the Power Plant, Toronto, De Vleeshall, the Netherlands, Seoul Museum of Art, Korea, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Ireland and was commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial in 2008 for a solo exhibition at the Bluecoat.