Inland Romance: Gary, Indiana is a large-scale painting created onsite at the Savannah Art Gallery on the Indiana University Northwest Campus in Gary by the Chicago artist, John Himmelfarb. Because of the time constraint (two weeks), as well as the performative nature of the piece, he composed and revised the work more rapidly than he would normally, working without preliminary sketches. John Himmelfarb is an established artist whose lush, calligraphic drawings and paintings have always been driven by an unceasing devotion to line. Consistently blurring the boundaries between drawing and painting, Himmelfarb revels in line’s evocative potential to create a synthesis of graphic sign, text and elusive image that challenges one’s ability to interpret visual language. Himmelfarb currently lives in Hyde Park.
The Inland Romance series reflects my interest in industrial landscape and urban infrastructure. They try to capture the fast pace of activity in the city, and sometimes suggest maps. These works have evolved from pen and ink drawings based on similar material drawn in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While these paintings are much more complex, the relationship to earlier work remains visible. The Inland Romance series began in 1993.