Robert Farber | Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

10 bound and 8 loose, signed pigment-ink prints
1 dye-sublimation print presented in buffalo and silk
edition of 18


Robert Farber spent much of the ‘80s and ‘90s photographing the fashion industry’s leading super models in Kodachrome and Agfachrome. But a storage mishap exposed some of that film to the elements. Colors bled and chemicals went awry. Farber took his time observing the process as it unfolded. Then, he selected the moment when the flaws in front of him bore their own aesthetic perfection and the metamorphosis was complete. So began Farber’s new series, Deteriorations—an extraordinary addition to an already formidable legacy.

Collier Brown pairs Farber’s Deteriorations with one of the greatest treatises on color ever written: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Farbenlehre (1810), translated by Charles Eastlake as Theory of Colours (1840). Goethe’s theory interrogates the idea and the meaning of color. His voice, therefore, is our voice. His questions are our questions when we confront the strange and beautiful spectrum of human existence.


THE loose prints