Michael Forster, April 16 - May 4, 2011 in Toronto

Michael Forster - Interrupted Night

COSMOS Decades before man’s first journey into space, Michael Forster was exploring it in paint, converting galaxies, suns, moons, planets and meteor showers into compelling abstractions. Forster is one of those rare artists who combine a unique vision with an eminently personal style of expressing it.  Technically, his paintings are superb examples of the painter’s craft. Conceptually, they contain a remarkable personal identity with the skyscape surrounding us, with its myriads of forms and colours. Forster is a painter-poet whose lyric compositions abstract the elements of space by a radiant combination of colour and texture. His paint surfaces are composed of a tachist fragmentation of pigment layered to achieve a maximum of luminosity. As a colourist, Forster must be included among the pre-eminent of the twentieth-century. He approaches each painting with a Cezanne-like respect for the overall rectangular canvas field that confronts him, unlike many painters who establish a central vignetted shape and merely fill in the balance of the available space. As in Cezanne, it is difficult to find an idle area in Forster’s paintings. They contain no meretricious surface variations for their own sake, but present a seemingly inevitable textural progression from one passage of a composition to the next. During the Second World War, as an official naval artist with the Allied Forces, Forster spent many months at sea, surrounded only by water and sky. This deepened his awareness of the ever-changing pictorial pageant that travelled above his ship by day and night. During his free time from duty, he made visual notes that provided a nucleus for some of his later peacetime abstractions. Following the war, Forster spent many years in Mexico, drawn by its long tradition of art and the rich legends of its native people, founded on their devotion to the sun and the heavenly matrix as a whole. When Forster was honoured with a major retrospective of his career at the Museo Nationale de Arte Moderno in 1960, Rufino Tamayo was one of his sponsors. In his forward to the show’s catalogue the celebrated German art historian Paul Westheim wrote,  “Colour is the medium of Forster’s expression. By means of colour he knows how to give form to a whole scale of emotions. He reduces all that is visible – indeed all that is imaginable – to colour: a strange and fantastic world of visionary colour.” The above is an eloquent footnote to A.Y. Jackson’s earlier assessment written in a 1942 review, “The real radicals are Eveleigh and Forster, with a certain rude strength which one would like to feel is symbolic of this country.” Paul Duval

Selected artwork: 
Time Goes By by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Time Goes By
Acrylic
36 x 45 in
Sold
Interrupted Night by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Interrupted Night
Acrylic
35 x 47 in
Sold
Untitled by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Untitled
Acrylic
35 x 52 in
Sold
Untitled by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Untitled
Acrylic
36 x 50 in
Sold
Icarus II by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Icarus II
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 45 in
Available
Untitled by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Untitled
Acrylic
36 x 42 in
Sold
Icarus I by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Icarus I
Acrylic
41 x 36 in
Sold
Untitled by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Untitled
Acrylic
43 x 36 in
Sold
Spiral by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Spiral
Acrylic
35 x 48 in
Sold
Cosmic Gold by Michael Forster
(click to enlarge)
Michael Forster - Cosmic Gold
Acrylic on Canvas
35.5 x 38 in
Sold
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Unspecified dimensions. in
Date(s): 
Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 10:00am - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 5:00pm
Artist(s): 
Location(s): 
Loch Gallery, Toronto

 

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