new-york

Manny Farber

O.K. Harris Gallery

There are no apparent loose ends to jar the initial impression of refined color and texture in Manny Farber’s paintings at O.K. Harris. They appear very smooth at first with no gaucheries that might yield new discoveries. Farber builds his paint surfaces out of brown kraft paper, joined together with paper tape. He coats the paper heavily on both sides with acrylic to preserve and stiffen it, a process that gives it the feel of heavy parchment. The works are small enough (approximately 6 by 8 feet) to be encompassed by the viewer, rather than enveloping him. Most of the paintings are non-rectangular.

Farber relies on the interaction of real and illusory textures for interest. He forces the paper into wrinkles, ripples, gullies and veinings; then balances them against paint texture, so skillfully that the pigment incident seems part of the palpable texture. In the most corrugated works, the

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