Shirley Goldfarb US, 1925-1980


"the Louvre stays open it continues it hardly closes at all
the Bar Américain continues to be French
de Gaulle continues to be Algerian as does Camus
Shirley Goldfarb continues to be Shirley Goldfarb
and Jane Hazan continues to be Jane Freilicher (I think!)
and Irving Sandler continues to be the balayeur des artistes
and so do I (sometimes I think I'm "in love" with painting)"


- Frank O'Hara, Lunch Poems

Thriving in a social milieu that encouraged eccentricity and flair, she created a new artistic persona and became a fixture of Paris ’community of artists, writers, filmmakers, and intellectuals. She formed friendships with Americans Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis and the surrealist artists Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray, and Max Ernst. While many of her contemporaries returned to New York, Goldfarb and her husband remained in Paris becoming long term fixtures in the community. She was represented in both Paris and New York throughout her life by friend and renowned gallerist Virginia Zabriskie. In the 1970s she became close with Andy Warhol and with David Hockney who painted her portrait, now in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


In 2000 her personal journals were adapted into the one-woman play Shirley which won a Moliere award for best actress. She was also the subject of a documentary, An American in Paris, by Kaye Morley on RTI Radio. Her work is in a number of important public collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, Kunsthalle, Bale, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC the Georges Pompidou Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.