Michael Hafftka Figurative Painting - "One Who Doesn't Know How to Ask", head of a man oil painting
See this artwork in context
View In Room
1 of 8 images

Michael Hafftka
"One Who Doesn't Know How to Ask", head of a man oil painting



Michael Hafftka is an American artist based in Brooklyn. His poignant paintings speak of the frailties and vices inherent in the human condition. With a dramatic use of color and expressive brush work, his images can be simultaneously breathtaking and confronting. From early in his career, Hafftka's works have demonstrated his prodigious talent. "One Who Doesn't Know How to Ask" is a luscious oil painting on copper of a man whose expression is hesitant. The title suggests that there is something he wants to ask. It seems to be important for his subject, as he has paused with his mouth open, uncertain whether he should continue. Or is he perhaps trying to find the right words for an impossible question? The rich colors intensify his anguish; his wide, clear eyes encourage us to feel a sense of empathy for him. Whatever the subject matter, Hafftka’s paintings are internal visions, not literal representations of an event or idea. His paintings are the sum of his memories, intellectual ruminations, daily observations and dreams that materialise as a vision, which he is then compelled to paint. He is a painter who has continuously and courageously stood by his convictions and who, despite his family’s experience as Holocaust survivors, seeks the good in people. But precisely because of those experiences, Hafftka is well aware that good can quickly become sinister if we let our guard down. COLLECTIONS: Hafftka’s works are held in many important museums in America including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. SIGNATURE: Initialed by the Artist "H" 2014, bottom right. PROVENANCE: The Artist CONDITION: Excellent. The work is unframed. SHIPPING: The work will ship from Brooklyn, N.Y.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    The work is unframed.
  • Dimensions
    H 16 in. x W 12 in.H 40.64 cm x W 30.48 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Adelaide, AU
  • Reference Number
  • Seller Reference Number
    MH #5399
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with the seller on your behalf to ensure you're satisfied with the resolution. Read more

Delivery, Returns & Payment

  • Delivery
    Rates vary by destination and complexity

    Some items may require special handling and packaging. Request a shipping quote to see what options are available to your destination.

  • Return Policy

    This item can be returned within 3 days of delivery.

    View details
  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

No Reviews Yet
1stdibs seller since 2018
Located in Adelaide, AU
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
Michael Hafftka, Three, surrealist figurative w...
Michael Hafftka
Watercolor, Handmade Paper
Michael Hafftka, Escape, war painting, man tryi...
Michael Hafftka
Linen, Oil
Blindfolded Hasid
Michael Hafftka
Linen, Oil
Michael Hafftka, Barbed, man fleeing war, caugh...
Michael Hafftka
Linen, Oil
You May Also Like
Ray Turner
Oil, Copper
Portrait Oil Painting on Copper, Framed and Rea...
Jed Jackson
"Gold", Illustrative Oil Painting on Copper Pan...
Jed Jackson
Mixed Media, Oil, Copper, Wood, Paint, Varnish
Lannie Hart
Brass, Canvas, Oil
Maria Gonzaga of Lorraine, Royal style portrait...
David Crismon
Steel, Oil
Sir John Mennes, Aristicratic portrait with a m...
David Crismon
Steel, Oil
White Gold Lilies for the Dove of Peace
Sax Berlin
Gold Leaf, Oil
Clothed In Light, Abraham and Sarah
Sax Berlin
Gold Leaf, Oil

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries