De Kunstenaars

"Icon(s)" april - july 2015

Born in France in 1940, he died in 2012.

While born in France, Jean-Claude Farhi spent his childhood in Colombia before returning to France in 1957 to study at the Fine Arts Academy of Nice. He created his first sculptures, titled “Chromplexes”, in 1966 with discarded motor pieces. Farhi was close to the New Realists, among whom Ben, Arman, Claude Viallat and César; he even became the latter’s assistant in 1968, helping him creating his famous polyurethane Expansions. He also collaborated with Roy Lichtenstein. From the 1970s onwards, Farhi experimented with different kinds of plastics and developed a real passion for this material. Towards the end of his life, he turned to metal and steel to create giant outdoor sculptures. Pierre Restany, the famous critic and defender of the New Realists, called Farhi “a great cabinetmaker-poet.”