John Himmelfarb was born in 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in a household of artists, surrounded by their art and the countryside that inspired them. John finished his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in liberal arts with a major in architectural sciences. He opened a studio in Chicago in 1970 and has worked there, primarily, since that time.
“John’s work is based on a curious amalgam of postwar expressionism and surrealism,” cites Helen Sheridan, Director of Collections & Exhibitions of Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts. “He is strongly influenced, by example, by both the abstractionism of Jackson Pollack, with its emphasis on overall gesture and markmaking, and the Art Brut expressionism of Jean Dubuffet, with its use of childlike imagery to suggest directness and spontaneity. The fact is that John has drawn upon a number of influences from 20th century art history, but he has managed to move beyond these influences to develop his own powerful and personal voice.”
Himmelfarb has had one- person shoes in private galleries in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston and other cities in the United States and one in the Tallers Josep Llorens Artigas in Gallifa, Spain. In addition, he has had one- person exhibitions in Miami University Art Museum, Huntington Museum of Art, Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, Blanden Memorial Art Musuem, Davenport Museum of Art, The Arkansas Art Center, Illinois State Museum and Madison Art Center.