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 Warren Slutz Farr  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Kentucky/Indiana      Known for: fantasy, surreal landscape

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Warren Slutz Farr
An example of work by Warren Slutz Farr
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist, Warren Earl Slutz Farr

Born: January 21,1949 Fort Wayne, Indiana
Residence: Paducah, KY
Subject: Fantasy oil painting, imaginative landscapes
Style: Fantasy/ Surrealist
Medium: Oil

Warren Farr has been involved in art his whole life, and a full-time painter since 1985. His work has been shown in regional and national exhibitions, including the 1995 New Orleans Triennial at the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, Louisiana; the 41st Biennial Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and The Kentuckians: 1987 at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art in Owensboro, Kentucky and the National Arts Club in New York, New York.

Other exhibits include the 1996 Southeastern Triennial Exhibition at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama; the 1993 and 1994 Cheekwood Nationals at the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee; the 1992 Water Tower Annual in Louisville, Kentucky; and in 1991, Common Ground at the Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Columbia Museum in Columbia, South

One and two person shows include Automotive (2001) and From Dusk to
Dawn: Paintings and Drawings of Warren Farr (1997), both at the Yeiser Art
Center in Paducah, Kentucky; and Farr/ Hunt at the New Harmony Gallery of
Contemporary Art in New Harmony, Indiana (1990).

Corporate collections are: Computer Services, Inc. and Jackson Purchase
Energy in Paducah, Hilliard and Lyons in Louisville, and Owensboro National
Bank in Owensboro. Also many private collections.

Honors include a 1996 Museum Guild Purchase Award from the Evansville
Museum of Arts and Science, a 1988 Award of Excellence from the Huntington
Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia, and numerous other awards.

He has received a 1990 Southern Arts Federation fellowship, a 1992 grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and on two occasions-- 1998 and
1987-- individual artist fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Commission.

Farr maintains a studio and gallery at his home in Kentucky.

Although I've been interested in drawing and painting all my life, I didn't make a serious effort until my first employment in drafting, when during off-hours I developed a laborious still-life technique in pencil, inspired by the William Harnett school of flat-object still-life painting.

As my technical skill improved, compositions devolved in a few cases into single pieces of printed matter centered on plain backgrounds, rendered
photo-realistically with all text fully readable-- in effect, anti-art.

This ended with my turning, for a period of about four years, from fine art to the art of entertainment software, during which I designed three games for early home computers.

A plant closing and the end of my day job gave me the impetus to return to fine art-- this time painting. Although largely self-taught, I began to devote all my energy to a series of dark, introspective night scenes. Immediately I was hooked. By the end of 1986, my first full year of working in oil, I had significantly increased the contrast of textures within each work: smooth, translucent night and twilight skies literally poured on the panel, versus opaque, gritty grounds laboriously tamped-- onto which were often added sculptural relief-elements. These and similar efforts led one Corcoran Biennial reviewer to complimentarily describe my work as Idiosyncratic/ Meticulous/ Obsessive (IMO).

Working in this style slowed me down, reducing output. So to realize
more of my ideas I began a series of even smaller works, five by six inches
versus my fourteen by eighteen standard. Still, to make yet more and
increasingly-affordable works, I began another diminutive (five by seven)
series of monochromatics in carbon black only, eliminating all layering.

I'm currently using several approaches: historic fantasy, as in my Titanic series; black humorous, metaphysical refuse and refugees; melancholic, dreamscapes of inert desperation; and melodramatic, visions more campy than frightful. Detail illuminates and obfuscates: stark incongruities alongside everyday objects, alien beings in familiar places, evidences of human frailty all touched by the gray of mortality.

In the first years of the new Millennium, the weirdness has continued--
albeit combined with a celebration of the American back-road and an
occasional brightening-- in the roomier and wider (twenty-two inches by
thirty) Car Series. In all my work the viewer is invited to explore increasingly difficult but potentially more-rewarding levels of interpretation. Only through art and imagination can we expand our reality.

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