Hardcover, 160 pages
9.25 x 11 in.
24.13 x 27.94 cm.
An iconoclastic and essential voice in American film criticism,Â Manny FarberÂ (1927-2008)Â was also a remarkablyÂ resourcefulÂ painter. This book celebrates Farber's lush visual art,Â showcasingÂ his table-top still lifes crammed with personalÂ associations,Â popÂ artifacts, and scrawled wisecracks—a seriesÂ of intimate yetÂ indirectÂ self-portraits, spanning decades. Â
Samples of Farber’s sly, brash art criticism, previously uncollected,Â are offered alongside film reviews, manuscript pages, schoolÂ quizzes, and notes.Â Â
The book’s editors provide essays and additional commentary; tributeÂ and analysis are supplied by nearly two dozen other contributors, including Richard Armstrong, Olivier Assayas,Â Bill Berkson, Durga Chew-Bose, AnneÂ Boyer,Â Moyra Davey, Josephine Halvorson, JP Gorin, GreilÂ Marcus,Â Carol Mavor,Â Patricia Patterson, Chris Petit, Amanda Petrusich,Â KellyÂ Reichardt,Â Jonathan Rosenbaum, Luc Sante, Robert Storr, GinaÂ Telaroli,Â Wim Wenders, Robert Walsh, and Alice Waters.
The bookÂ comesÂ on the heels ofÂ Helen Molesworth’s exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles: “One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art”—a Farber retrospective and wide-ranging group show in which Molesworth revisited and explored Farber’s seminal 1962 essay “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art.” Molesworth commends Farber forÂ embracing the glories and uncertainties of the everyday, creating work that is continually gnawing away at its own boundaries.Â
“Farber is this extraordinary case of someone equally fluent in twoÂ practices, painting and writing, that inform and modify each other incessantly.Â It is his existence at the confluence of these twoÂ practices that makes his work so layered, contradictory, polyphonic.Â In short, ALIVE.”Â
“It’s been said that Manny Farber’s film criticism resembles his painting—or maybe vice-versa—in that both are chiefly concerned with exploding a thing into its constituent bits, and then gently surveying the remnants, figuring out how or if they complement each other.”Â
“The dizzying appeal of exposing enormity in what’s miniature.”
“Images of no small exuberance, theyÂ urge equal recognition of theÂ flip-side of plenitude: There is noÂ stopping things, no end to theÂ immoderate, chattering, centerlessÂ prolixity in which the averageÂ earthbound soul finds (or loses) itself,Â immersed.”
Edited and with essays by Michael Almereyda, Jonathan Lethem, and Robert Polito.
Designed by Scott MasseyÂ