New York

Manny Farber

Rosa Esman Gallery

Looser and more insouciant than anything he has painted, Manny Farber’s most recent amalgams of landscape, still life, and symbolic self-portraiture are at once more relaxed and aggressive, jam-packed and freewheeling than any of his representational pictures from the past twenty years. In the past, straightforward oppositions between figure and ground, abstraction and representation, form and content informed Farber’s cleverly self-referential and often slyly humorous works. In his new pictures, these well-worn formal issues are overwhelmed by an excess of visual energy—bravura brushwork, juicy under-painting, keyed-up colors, jaunty juxtapositions, and expanded scale.

Beginning in the winter of 1991, Farber’s art took a turn to the liquid. The potted plants, gutted fish, cardboard stencils, Post-its, bits of rebar, and bouquets of flowers that hover in the strange, horizon-less space of

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