Moses is described in the Torah as the most modest man who ever lived. My father was the second most. He thought of himself, and wanted others to think of him, as simply ordinary. Perhaps that inspired me to often depict him as Everyman.” — Max Ferguson

These paintings will be part of a Max Ferguson’s 13th solo exhibition, Painting My Father, at the Hebrew Union College Museum in Greenwich Village, One West 4th Street, NYC from April 16 – June 29, 2012.

An opening reception on May 8th 2012, 6-8:30 pm, will commemorate what would have been Richard Ferguson’s 100th birthday, and honor a New York Everyman.

In conjunction with this exhibition, curated by Laura Kruger, a fully illustrated 32 page catalogue is being published, with an introduction by noted art historian, Gail Levin.

Excerpt from the press release by the Hebrew Union College Museum:
Max Ferguson’s work is essentially autobiographical, with his father and himself being his most frequent models. It is his father who is the focus of the exhibition Painting My Father, showing thirty paintings he has done of him over a thirty year period.
His paintings, at once timely and personal; timeless and universal, capture the tones and moods of a rapidly changing New York. His concentrating on images associated with an older New York (Coney Island, mom-and-pop shops, etc.), stems not so much from nostalgia, as it does from a desire to capture things while they are still here. Many of the subjects he has painted have already gone the way of the wrecking ball, or been renovated beyond recognition.

Max Ferguson learned the discipline for his meticulously rendered paintings while doing animated films as a teenager, graduating from New York University film school in 1980. But it was while spending a year at an art school in Amsterdam that his interest switched to painting. He developed an enduring admiration for Dutch seventeenth-century painters and has sought to integrate their concern for craftsmanship with contemporary urban realism. As Ferguson says, „For me, the ideal artistic marriage would be Vermeer and Hopper.“

Ferguson is also known for the backs of his paintings, a unique hybrid of open diary, scrapbook, and messages in a bottle.

His works are in many prominent public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The British Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, and Yeshiva University Museum.“

Further information about Painting My Father can be found on the artist’s website (including an essay about this series) and on the exhibition website:
Hebrew Union College Museum
New York Times: 30 Years of Paintings of a New York Everyman, by MARIA ELENA MARTINEZ


All images © Max Ferguson. Courtesy of the Bridgeman Art Library.
Image #1: © Max Ferguson, “My Father in Katz’s”, 2005.
Image #2: © Max Ferguson, “Me and My Father”, 1986.
Image #3: © Max Ferguson, “My Father in the Empire State Building”, 1998.

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