John Himmelfarb, son of Eleanor and Samuel, is a painter. 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 primarily in Chicago since that time.
"John's work is based on a curious amalgam of postwar expressonism and surrealism," cites Helen Sheridan, Director, Collections & Exhibitions of Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan. "He is strongly influenced, for example, by both the abstractionism of Jackson Pollock, 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."
Over forty institutions have his work in their collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois; Madison Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota; National Museum of American Art, Washington, D. C.; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; and Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. Himmelfarb has had one person shows in private galleries in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D. C., Milwaukee, 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, Oxford, Ohio; Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa; Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, Iowa; The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; Illinois State Museum; and Madison Art Center.